Desegregation

On Second Thought For Monday, June 4, 2018

Jun 4, 2018
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The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made segregation of America’s public schools illegal. But decades before Thurgood Marshall argued for Linda Brown's right to attend the all-white school closest to her house in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits brought by little girls and young women chipped away at the foundations of segregated education. New research finds their grassroots efforts paved the way for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) legal battle to integrate schools nationally.


Image from the website of the Norman Rockwell Museum

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made segregation of America’s public schools illegal. But decades before Thurgood Marshall argued for Linda Brown's right to attend the all-white school closest to her house in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits brought by little girls and young women chipped away at the foundations of segregated education. New research finds their grassroots efforts paved the way for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) legal battle to integrate schools nationally. 

 


The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling Brown v. the Board of Education more than six decades ago. Linda Brown, the namesake of that landmark court case, died March 25. She was 76. 

With Brown v. Board, it became illegal to separate public school students by race. But since the landmark ruling, many schools in the South have resegregated, according to a report from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also found Latino student enrollment surpassed black enrollment for the first time.

We spoke about the resegregation of southern schools with Erica Frankenberg, associate professor of education at Penn State University, Belisa Urbina, executive director of Ser Familia, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Maureen Downey.

Erik Voss

For Women’s History Month, On Second Thought is paying tribute to Georgia's female trailblazers. 

Civil Rights icon Dr. Roslyn Pope made history in 1960 when, as a student at Spelman College, she wrote “An Appeal for Human Rights." The document was instrumental in advancing the Atlanta Student Movement's efforts to end segregation.

On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen spoke with Pope about her experiences as a student leader in the Civil Rights Movement. 

Photo courtesy of John Harris

"Mr. Tuck And the 13 Heroes" is a new children's book about the first elementary school in Henry County to desegregate black and white students. In 1966, Fairview Elementary accepted thirteen students of color--an effort led by then principal, Brooks Tuck.

The author of the book is John Harris, whose father was friends with Mr. Tuck. We spoke with Harris along with the illustrator, his daughter Sophie Harris.

Akhenaton06 / Foter

In 1967, the first African-American students were admitted to the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Joseph Hobbs, one of the first black students to graduate, was the first black faculty member at the school.

Doctor Hobbs is now Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, and is organizing the 50th anniversary of desegregation at that college. He joins us from Augusta to discuss decades of work in elevating African-American doctors at the school.