(New York, NY) In a public service announcement invoking the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that ended “separate but equal” in classrooms, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund today called on all Americans to join together to end inequality.
“Brown v. Board of Education was much more than a legal decision. This landmark case marked the beginning of the end of legal segregation in all aspects of American life,” said Sherrilyn A. Ifill, President and Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “We proudly celebrate Brown even as we recognize the ongoing, difficult challenges we face today not just in education, but in criminal justice, in economic opportunity and at the ballot box.”
The 30-second television and radio PSA spot begins with the infamous 1963 inaugural speech of Alabama governor George Wallace, who defied desegregation efforts with the words, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” In a voice-over accompanied by both historical and contemporary images, the message continues:
“There will always be those who don’t believe we can end inequality. But 60 years ago, one group of visionary lawyers and brave families together, changed America forever. We know that inequality still lingers, where we live, work, and learn. But when we stand together, we are stronger. Together, we can end inequality.”
A social media campaign accompanying the release of the PSA will invite supporters to share the video using the hashtag #Brownat60. The television and radio spots will begin airing on May 16 in the DC metro area, to coincide with a special commemorative luncheon on that day hosted by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund at the National Press Club. The event will include a conversation between Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder, moderated by journalist Charlayne Hunter Gault. In addition, Attorney General Eric Holder will be presenting a special award to Cecilia Marshall, widow of NAACP Legal Defense Fund founder Thurgood Marshall.