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With All Deliberate Speed

Saturday 17 May marked the sixtieth anniversary of the landmark US Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, which held that state laws mandating separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional. The following year the court declared in a related decision that desegregation of school districts should take place “with all deliberate speed.”

Although most people have heard of Brown v. Board of Education, less well known is that the case as appealed to the Supreme Court actually combined five lawsuits challenging segregation of public schools (including the original Brown case itself), the earliest of which was Briggs v. Elliott, a case that originated in Clarendon County, SC, in 1947.

Read more about Brown v. Board of Education (as well as Briggs v. Elliott) and the momentous events of the Civil Rights era that followed in its wake, in these titles from Richland Library’s collection. Also take a look at the documentary With All Deliberate Speed on DVD.


Amazon Says: History ignored is history repeated. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown Vs. Board of Education that the concept of "separate but equal" sc more...
Amazon Says: History ignored is history repeated. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown Vs. Board of Education that the concept of "separate but equal" school segregation was unconstitutional. But in this landmark ruling, the Justices used a four-word phrase that many believe has delayed the process of change for over 50 years: "With All Deliberate Speed." Direct Peter Gilbert (producer of Hoop Dreams and Stevie) explores the shocking history and legacy of the legal decision that tore our nation apart and still divides us today. Jeffrey Wright narrates this acclaimed documentary featuring stunning archive footage, powerful readings by Mekhi Phifer, Larenz Tate, Terry Kinney, and Alicia Keys, and revealing new interviews with the heroic men and women who fought - and still fight - the battle for racial equality in America. less...
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Amazon Says: At the forefront of a new era in American history, Briggs v. Elliott was one of the first five school segregation lawsuits argued consecutively before the U.S. Supreme Court i more...
Amazon Says: At the forefront of a new era in American history, Briggs v. Elliott was one of the first five school segregation lawsuits argued consecutively before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1952. The resulting collective 1954 landmark decision, known as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, struck down legalized segregation in American public schools. The genesis of Briggs was in 1947, when the black community of Clarendon County, South Carolina, took action against the abysmally poor educational opportunities provided for their children. In a move that would define him as an early--although unsung--champion for civil rights justice, Joseph A. De Laine, a pastor and school principal, led his neighbors to challenge South Carolina's "separate but equal" practice of racial segregation in public schools. Their lawsuit, Briggs, provided the impetus that led to Brown.In this engrossing memoir, Ophelia De Laine Gona, the daughter of Reverend De Laine, becomes the first to cite and credit adequately the forces responsible for filing Briggs. Based on De Laine's writings and papers, witness testimonies, and the author's personal knowledge, Gona's account fills a gap in civil rights history by providing a poignant insider's view of the events and personalities--including NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall and federal district judge J. Waties Waring--central to this trailblazing case. Though De Laine and the brave parents who filed Briggs v. Elliott initially lost their lawsuit in district court, the case grew in significance when the plaintiffs appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three years after the appeal, the Briggs case was one of the five lawsuits that shared the historic Brown decision. However, the ruling did not prevent De Laine and his family from suffering vicious reprisals from vindictive white citizens. In 1955, after he was shot at and his church was burned to the ground, De Laine prudently fled South Carolina in order to save his life. He died in exile in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1974. Fifty years after the Supreme Court's decision, De Laine was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his role in reshaping the American educational landscape. less...
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Amazon Says: What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired more...
Amazon Says: What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired social movements for equality in education across all lines of difference, including language, gender, disability, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, and sexual orientation. Yet more than a half century after Brown, American schools are more racially separated than before, and educators, parents and policy makers still debate whether the ruling requires all-inclusive classrooms in terms of race, gender, disability, and other differences. In Brown's Wake examines the reverberations of Brown in American schools, including efforts to promote equal opportunities for all kinds of students. School choice, once a strategy for avoiding Brown, has emerged as a tool to promote integration and opportunities, even as charter schools and private school voucher programs enable new forms of self-separation by language, gender, disability, and ethnicity. Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School, argues that the criteria placed on such initiatives carry serious consequences for both the character of American education and civil society itself. Although the original promise of Brown remains more symbolic than effective, Minow demonstrates the power of its vision in the struggles for equal education regardless of students' social identity, not only in the United States but also in many countries around the world. Further, she urges renewed commitment to the project of social integration even while acknowledging the complex obstacles that must be overcome. An elegant and concise overview of Brown and its aftermath, In Brown's Wake explores the broad-ranging and often surprising impact of one of the century's most important Supreme Court decisions. less...
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Amazon Says: This is the first effort to provide a broad assessment of how well the Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared an end to segregated schools in the United States was more...
Amazon Says: This is the first effort to provide a broad assessment of how well the Brown v. Board of Education decision that declared an end to segregated schools in the United States was implemented. Written by a distinguished group of historians, the twelve essays in this collection examine how African Americans and their supporters in twelve states—Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Delaware, Missouri, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin—dealt with the Court’s mandate to desegregate “with all deliberate speed.” The process followed many diverse paths. Some of the common themes in these efforts were the importance of black activism, especially the crucial role played by the NAACP; entrenched white opposition to school integration, which wasn’t just a southern state issue, as is shown in Delaware, Wisconsin, and Indiana; and the role of the federal government, a sometimes inconstant and sometimes reluctant source of support for implementing Brown. less...
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Amazon Says: In February 1954, President Eisenhower invited Chief Justice Warren to dinner at the White House. Among the guests were well-known opponents of school desegregation. During more...
Amazon Says: In February 1954, President Eisenhower invited Chief Justice Warren to dinner at the White House. Among the guests were well-known opponents of school desegregation. During that evening, Eisenhower commented to Warren that "law and force cannot change a man's heart." Three months later, however, the Supreme Court handed down its unanimous decision in Brown, and the contributors to this book, like people across the country, were profoundly changed by it, even though many saw almost nothing change in their communities.What Brown did was to elevate race from the country's dirty secret to its most urgent topic of conversation. This book stands alone in presenting, in one source, stories of black and white Americans, men and women, from all parts of the nation, who were public school students during the years immediately after Brown. All shared an epiphany. Some became aware of race and the burden of racial separation. Others dared to hope that the yoke of racial oppression would at last be lifted.The editors surveyed 4750 law professors born between 1936 and 1954, received 1000 responses, and derived these forty essays from those willing to write personal accounts of their childhood experiences in the classroom and in their communities. Their moving stories of how Brown affected them say much about race relations then and now. They also provide a picture of how social change can shape the careers of an entire generation in one profession.Contributors provide accounts from across the nation. Represented are -de jure states, those segregated by law at the time of Brown, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia -de facto states, those where segregation was illegal but a common practice, including California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin. less...
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Amazon Says: Book by Gold, Susan Dudley more...
Amazon Says: Book by Gold, Susan Dudley less...
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Amazon Says: Book by Diane Telgen more...
Amazon Says: Book by Diane Telgen less...
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The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v. Board of Education by The Editors of Black Issues in Higher Education
Amazon Says: Praise for The Unfinished Agenda of Brown V. Board of Education ""My father, Oliver L. Brown, for whom Brown v. Board of Education is named, was a proud member of a group of more...
Amazon Says: Praise for The Unfinished Agenda of Brown V. Board of Education ""My father, Oliver L. Brown, for whom Brown v. Board of Education is named, was a proud member of a group of a few hundred people, across the country, who took risks by taking a stand for what they believed. He died in 1961, just seven years after the case, so he didn't live long enough to know that Brown would become the foundation on which so much of this country's civil and human rights initiatives would rest. Brown v. Board became important for every citizen, not just African Americans. It shows that the founding documents of our country provided us with sovereign rights that cannot be restricted by state and local governments. That decision impacted the lives of women, persons with disabilities, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, and everyone living in this country. Brown was significant in attacking the silence. It opened up a dialogue and forced the country to take on greater responsibility; we at every level had to start addressing the issue of race. In many ways, once the dialogue started, we finally began to under stand the depths of racism. This case was about gaining access to educational resources; the resources were and remain where the white children are. The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v. Board of Education is about renewing and continuing the promise of Brown."" -Cheryl Brown Henderson, president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research, and daughter of Oliver L. Brown, one of the thirteen plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education less...
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Amazon Says: Brown v. Board of Education sparked a revolution in race relations that transformed America’s social and political landscape. Argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1952 an more...
Amazon Says: Brown v. Board of Education sparked a revolution in race relations that transformed America’s social and political landscape. Argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1952 and 1953, the case was a historic encounter between the forces of racial segregation and the burgeoning civil rights movement. The resulting decision, which outlawed segregation in public schools, set the stage for decades of legal and political disputes that have yet to be resolved. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the decision, The New Press is publishing the transcripts of the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the Brown case. Never before available to a general reading audience, the Brown transcripts are among the most revealing documents of contemporary history, with a cast of characters—Thurgood Marshall, Hugo Black, and Felix Frankfurter—that includes some of the towering legal and political figures of the past century. less...
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Amazon Says: When the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education was handed down in 1954, many civil rights advocates believed that the decision finding public school segr more...
Amazon Says: When the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education was handed down in 1954, many civil rights advocates believed that the decision finding public school segregation unconstitutional could become the Holy Grail of racial justice. Fifty years later, despite its legal irrelevance and the racially separate and educationally ineffective state of public schooling for most black children, Brown is still viewed by many as the perfect precedent. Derrick Bell here shatters this shining image of one of the Court's most celebrated rulings. He notes that, despite the onerous burdens of segregation, many black schools functioned well and racial bigotry had not rendered blacks a damaged race. Brown's recognition of racial injustice, without more, left racial barriers intact. Given what we now know about the pervasive nature of racism, the Court should have determined--for the first time--to rigorously enforce the "equal" component of the "separate but equal" standard. By striking it down, the Court intended both to improve the Nation's international image during the Cold War and offer blacks recognition that segregation was wrong. Instead, the Brown decision actually enraged and energized its opponents. It stirred confusion and conflict into the always vexing question of race in a society that, despite denials and a frustratingly flexible amnesia, owes much of its growth, development, and success, to the ability of those who dominate the society to use race to both control and exploit most people, black and white. Racial policy, Bell maintains, is made through silent covenants--unspoken convergences of interest and involuntary sacrifices of rights--that ensure that policies conform to priorities set by policy-makers. Blacks and whites are the fortuitous winners or losers in these unspoken agreements. The experience with Brown, Bell urges, should teach us that meaningful progress in the quest for racial justice requires more than the assertion of harms. Strategies must recognize and utilize the interest-convergence factors that strongly influence racial policy decisions. In Silent Covenants, Bell condenses more than four decades of thought and action into a powerful and eye-opening book. less...
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