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Heman Marion Sweatt and Abigail Noel Fisher both wanted to attend the University of Texas at Austin.
Both claimed their race was a primary reason for their rejection. Both filed civil rights lawsuits, and the Supreme Court ultimately agreed to hear their separate appeals -- filed more than half a century apart.
When I started school in Virginia in 1968, the public schools in my county were still segregated by race. When our school board finally began complying with Brown vs. Board of Education, a group of parents decided to start an all-white private school. They showed up in our driveway one evening to convince my parents to join them. My father — a white factory worker and a son of the brutally segregated South — sent them away unhappy.
Sandra Bookman will take a look at a controversial complaint that was recently filed with the U.S. Department of Education, alleging that the sole use of test scores for entrance to specialized high schools in New York City disproportionately excludes African-American and Latino students. She'll speak about the issue with Damon Hewitt, the director of education of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Esmeralda Simmons, the founder and executive director for the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.
The New York City Police Department has come under criticism in recent years for arresting people for trespassing in public housing, often for little or no reason. The trespassing arrests are a variation on the city’s broader, and highly controversial, stop-and-frisk program.