Today in History: Brown versus Board of Education

| May 17, 2017

170514_news_219x365Did you know that the Negro Education Club was alive and well at Teachers College in the 1920s? Mable Carney, Teachers College alumna and Head of the Department of Rural Education, 1917-1941, advocated for race relations? Or that Marion Thompson Wright, TC student, was the first Black historian to receive a doctorate at Columbia — in 1941? An institution historically open to new ways of thinking and pedagogical practice, Teachers College has long recognized race and supported diversity — a champion ahead of its time, even in the most turbulent days of our nation’s history.

May 17, 1954 marked a major victory in the civil rights movement, as racial segregation was ruled unconstitutional in public schools. The landmark case, Brown versus Board of Education, involved Linda Brown, a third grade African American student, who was denied admission to her local public school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin. The critical legal decision influenced the end of racial segregation in all public places.

The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning. While they highlight the success of the landmark case, they offer historical perspective on racial, socio-economic inequities and disparities in our schools — issues which Teachers College continues to address through such initiatives as the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Campaign for Educational Equity, and Educating Harlem.

Tips: slide design-Brown versus Board of Education

  • Check out these books on Brown versus Board of Education that explore its legacy and continuing issues.
  • Also see History– Brown v. Board of Education Re-enactment, from the US Federal Courts (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary); the site includes includes activity resources and related links.


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