Hello All! As I write this blog post, and look at the state of where Black people are, mentally, today; I have to ask myself, “was Brown v. Board of education good for Black people’s minds?” There are people who grew up in segregation and preferred it to integration, because with integration, the bullying was now right there in their face everyday. My mom said this out of her own mouth. Even me, I grew up going to school with majority white kids, I didn’t like it. No, I didn’t like being called an N word and bullied by teachers and students and parents; I didn’t like that 20 years later, my little sister who is 20 years younger than me experienced the same thing. The one thing I always thought about kids who grew up going to predominantly Black schools was that, they have each other. I found that to be far more profound than dealing with racist white people every. single. day. So as far as our minds, I don’t believe integration was the best thing, unless, like Germany, the whole American system was re-educated to dismantle anti-black rhetoric, part of what Jews received in their reparations from Germany (Germans were re-educated to dismantle anti-Semitic rhetoric). If the institutions are still going to be anti-Black which results in us being treated worse, what was the point? I read a story yesterday where a teacher that was supposed to be teaching critical race theory, discriminated against a black child. Nonetheless, 3 Black lawyers won this Brown vs. Board of Education case, which was a victory. If anything, I celebrate the lawyers for winning. Enjoy the blog post below! Also, don’t forget to sign up for the last 2 classes for this go round of the Dear Black People™ Webinar Series!
On May 17, 1954, a historical moment happened where black children were no longer legally separated from their white peers in schools. Brown vs. board of education is the culmination of five different cases that were heard by the Supreme Court concerning the issue of Segregation in schools. These cases were Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Briggs v. Elliot, Davis v. Board of Education of Prince Edward County (VA.), Boiling v. Sharpe, and Gebhart v. Ethel. Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund handled these cases.
Oliver Brown, father to Linda Brown, took legal action as he wanted his daughter to be able to attend the local school instead of walking 6 blocks to a bus, just to ride another mile to a segregated school – as a third grader.
All 5 cases were sponsored by the NAACP. One case in particular, the Davis case, originated from a student protest when 16 year old Barbara Rose Johns of Moton High School organized a walkout with 450 students.
Thurgood Marshall, NAACP’s chief counsel, argued the case before the Supreme Court. The court made a unanimous decision after being divided on the issue for so long.
Even after the decision, school segregation did not end. in 1957, 3 years after the ruling, the Little Rock 9 was formed to challenge the validity of that ruling. They were vetted by the NAACP and determined to be strong enough to challenge the system. Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Walls had been recruited by Daisy Gaston Bates, president of the Arkansas NAACP. They were counseled intensely to be built up for what they were about to face (remember I talked about that yesterday, preparation!) The national guard had been called to block black students from the school, as they were the first group of Black students to attend. Later that month, with the Little Rock 9, the national guard had to be called to escort them into the school. For the “get over it black people” crew, that was my moms generation, should we all now trust the same people who were alive during that time and have kids my age? Nope! Trust is earned…. anyway!
The administration building of Topeka Public schools in Kansas, is named McKinley Burnett, in honor of the NAACP chapter president who organized the case. On May 4, 1987, Monroe Elementary School of Topeka Kansas was made a National Historic Landmark for its significance to the Brown v. Board of Education Case; in 1992, it was named a national park. The Monroe Elementary School Building was one of four schools in Topeka for African American children up until 1954. This school was attended by three of the plaintiffs children in the Brown vs. board of education case.
As I mentioned in yesterdays post, build upon the actions of others. Brown V. Board led to the Little Rock 9, that’s how it works. What can you build on today? Let me know in the comments?
You see, I built on the tradition of my African ancestors when I created Melanated Gem. They created the concept, I added the empowering words and designs. Help me spread the word today, and support!