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Integration progress incomplete 65 years after Brown

Richard J. ReddickMay 19, 2019

On May 17, 1954, 7-year-old Linda Brown became the successful plaintiff in perhaps the most significant civil rights ruling in Supreme Court history — Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. It was a decision that would desegregate schools.

But instead of simply commemorating the 65th anniversary of Brown, we should measure our progress to an equal society today. And the progress is incomplete.

There were actually two Brown cases.

Brown II (1955) focused on the mechanisms for integration, including the phrase “with all deliberate speed.” This introduced the imperative of immediacy, but its vagueness and lack of timeline allowed states to resist integration for decades.

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