"Histories, like ancient ruins, are the fictions of empires. While everything forgotten hands in dark dreams of the past, ever threatening to return...”, a quote from the movie Velvet Goldmine, expresses the thoughts that many supporters of integration may have felt because no one truly knew the effects that one major verdict could create. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was a very important watershed during the Civil Rights Movement. However, like most progressive decisions, it did not create an effective solution because no time limit was ever given. James Baldwin realized that this major oversight would lead to a “broken promise.”
Before the decision of Brown v. Board of Education, many people accepted school segregation and, in most of the southern states, required segregation. Schools during this time were supposed to uphold the “separate but equal” standard set during the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson; however, most, if not all, of the “black” schools were not comparable to the “white” schools. The resources the “white” schools had available definitely exceed the resources given to “black” schools not only in quantity, but also in quality. Brown v. Board of Education was not the first case that assaulted the public school segregation in the south. The title of the case was shortened from Oliver Brown ET. Al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. The official titled included reference to the other twelve cases that were started in the early 1950’s that came from South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The case carried Oliver Brown’s name because he was the only male parent fighting for integration. The case of Brown v. Board o...
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...le knowing their identity, so that they do not have to face the judgments of others. "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person! Give him a mask and he'll tell you the truth!" (Velvet Goldmine).
Baldwin, James. “Down at the Cross.” 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.
Ewing, James. “Desegregation: Progress Report.” New York Times 26 Sep. 1954.
“Integration Gain is Noted in South.” New York Times 7 Jul. 1957.
Irons, Peter. Jim Crow’s Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision. New York: Viking Penguin, 2002.
“Text of Supreme Court Decision Outlawing Negro Segregation in the Public Schools.” New York Times 18 May 1854.
Velvet Goldmine. Dir. Todd Hayes. Perf. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, Toni Collette. Miramax, 1998.
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