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Brown vs Board of Education

A story by Lois Keating Learned



Eons ago, when I was in college, I took a course on a dare. The course was American Political Thought. It was taught by Professor Dilly — and she was — a dilly. This particular day she entered the classroom with a pile of books, which she slammed on her desk to immediately get our undivided attention. She then announced, Yesterday the Supreme Court published a decision which will have more effect on your lives than the Atom Bomb. She was right. The decision referred to was Brown vs. The Board of Education. It alluded to a law passed in 1896 declaring that separate but equal accommodations on railroad trains for black citizens was O.K., but in the case of education, the Warren Court ruled that this separation was not constitutional. So many things changed, especially in the south. Sit-ins at luncheon counters forced businesses to serve black people in the same restaurants as whites, no longer did black people have to sit in the back of buses, or stand in the aisle behind the white section, and, eventually, blacks could vote without intimidation in the district where they lived. It was not without a struggle. Riots occurred. Many black and white citizens were injured in marches and even deaths, such as the killing of Martin Luther King happened. Today, ‘things’ are better, but we are not without discrimination incidents. Let’s hope the next generations will be more understanding about the humanity that links all of us — White, Brown and Black.

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