May 17th marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the constitutional moment that compelled our country to reckon with its history and confront the unfulfilled promise of equality first articulated in our founding documents.
Brown literally changed America. It is a mid-20th century course correction that ushered in a modern America that must grapple honestly with the promise of equality and opportunity for all of its citizens. At its core Brown marks the beginning of the end of legal apartheid in this country. This would be enough to celebrate. But Brown is also a powerful example of how change can happen and the important role that law plays in shaping the very character of our country.
Read a full statement on the anniversary from NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. President and Director-Counsel, Sherrilyn Ifill.
- Brown v. Board history with links to legal documents
- National Archives educational documents about the case
- Brown v. Board of Education timeline
- Interesting facts about the case and the plaintiffs
- Public Service Announcement: “Together We Can End Inequality”
- PBS series “The Supreme Court” looks at Brown
- A visual retrospective of the Brown case
In the 1940s, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark designed and conducted a series of experiments known colloquially as “the doll tests” to study the psychological effects of segregation on African-American children. Read on.