Julian Bond's Lecture on Brown vs. Board of Education

Julian Bond's Lecture on Brown vs. Board of Education

Length: 1610 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Loose Ends Still Untied

Aurora is not known to be the greatest town in the suburbs of Chicago, so it is a typical move for the people from my side of town to claim residence in Naperville. I will be the first to admit that I have often betrayed my hometown and laid claim to its relatively glamorous neighbor. Naperville is one of the country’s “best places to raise a family,” or so I have heard. I wouldn’t be too surprised, considering the amount of wealth that flows through the town. Naperville offers a mix of people, professionals and their families of various ethnicities and backgrounds; however, it lacks true culture diversity. Even though there are whites, blacks, Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, etc., few of its youths are conscious of the various backgrounds because of the economic equality of everyone: everyone is equally rich in Naperville (a point of which I and my fellow Aurorans regularly accused our Naperville schoolmates). My high school consisted of a decent racial blend, and despite a few cultural cliques, everyone was White in thought and in wallet. I did not hold this view at the time, but I had yet to be exposed to reality then.

When I came to the University of Illinois, I was accompanied by a significant force of my high school peers, including all but two of my closest friends. During the first few weeks of school, when everybody was meeting everybody else, I was busy hanging out with my standard high school group and, thus, missed much of the opportunity to make a bounty of new friends. I did, however, meet one person who has become my closest friend and who sparked my introduction to reality. I went to visit him over spring break. It was a Friday, a little past noon. My friend lives around 75th Street, a block from Lake Michigan. For everyone who isn’t from the area, I was right in the middle of a very black south side of Chicago neighborhood. When his mother found out I was coming to do lunch, she asked him, “Why are you making this boy come out here?” My friend responded immediately: “Mom, he’s not afraid of black people.” This was a true statement; I never had feared anyone because of race, but his mother instinctively knew, unlike my friend and me, that his hometown and my hometown were polar opposites.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Julian Bond's Lecture on Brown vs. Board of Education." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Mar 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Attending a Lecture on Brown vs. Board of Education by Julian Bond Essay

- Broken Promise of Brown I attended a lecture entitled the Broken Promise of Brown which was given by Julian Bond. This took place at Smith Memorial Hall on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. As I entered the building and made my way to the main entrance of the auditorium, I noticed that this CAS/MillerComm lecture was more formal than the usual CAS/MillerComm lectures. CAS/MillerComm was the sponsor of this event and also sponsors an entire lecture series free to the public. As I entered the auditorium there were a cameraman and interviewer asking people as they walked in what they knew about the Brown vs....   [tags: Lectures Julian Bond Race Segregation]

Free Essays
1959 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on Narrative about Brown vs. Board of Education

- Narrative In my Rhetoric 105 class that I am required to take a freshman at the University, we spent the entire semester relating our class work to the ruling of Brown vs. Board. Our main focus was on an author by the name of James Baldwin, a prominent black writer during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. As a requirement for the course we had to attend a campus event related to Brown vs. Board. There were many events all over campus as a result of the campus celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ruling....   [tags: Rhetoric]

Free Essays
2958 words (8.5 pages)

The Brown Sisters Lecture Essay

- The Brown Sisters Upon hearing the narrative assignment, I found myself stunned that I would actually have to attend a lecture outside of my classes. When scanning the list of possible events, the Brown Sisters lecture stood out in my mind. I had just completed an essay solely devoted to the decision and it’s impact on society so I thought it would be interesting to hear a first hand account of the tumultuous times these brave women faced. The lecture turned out to be more interesting than I originally imagined though I left with a slight sense of dissatisfaction....   [tags: Brown versus Board of Education]

Research Papers
1198 words (3.4 pages)

The Brown V. Board Of Education Essay example

- In life we learn that what we are facing are outcomes of previous incidents. Looking at life we can see if Rosa Parks did not stand up to the white bus driver, segregation could still possibly be occurring. Everything in life stems off another case. Here in this paper I will talk about the Brown v. Board of Education. I will discuss how the case impacted society and what it has done for society today. The case of Brown v. Board of Education just to recap is about how schools were having unconstitutional segregation....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Research Papers
706 words (2 pages)

Brown V. Board Of Education Essay

- African Americans are still facing segregation today that was thought to have ended many years ago. Brown v. Board of Education declared the decision of having separate schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. As Brown v. Board of Education launches its case, we see how it sets the infrastructure to end racial segregation in all public spaces. Today, Brown v. Board of Education has made changes to our educational system and democracy, but hasn’t succeeded to end racial segregation due to the cases still being seen today....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Research Papers
2324 words (6.6 pages)

Essay about Brown V. Board Of Education

- Brown V. Board of Education (1954) Brown v. Board of Education was a significant case that began many debates and movements across the United States of America. The basis of the argument was that “separate but equal” schools for white and African-American children were unconstitutional. This case was first filed as a class action suit, which took it to court at a state level, but after the jurisdiction was seen as unfair, was then brought to the Supreme Court. This case was supposed to be the beginning of the end of national segregation of colored people....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Research Papers
1198 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Brown Vs. Board Of Education

- Brown vs. Board of Education Brown vs. Board of Education is one of the most known cases today. It was not just a simple one time case, it lasted for years. It lasted from 1952 to 1954, being officially decided on May 17, 1954. This case took place at Topeka, Kansas at the Board of Education office. The citation number of this case was 347 US 403, docket number 1. Little did the arguers know they would make history and would change everything for the future. The brown v. board of education was not just one court case it was a combination of 5 court cases that was named Brown v....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Research Papers
1030 words (2.9 pages)

Brown V. Board Of Education Essay

- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1951-1954), which was originally named after Oliver Brown, was a United States Supreme Court case that overturned Plessy v. Ferguson decision and ended tolerance of racial segregation. The Plessy v. Fergusion decision upheld the constitutionality of segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. ***** The Brown v. Board of Education case took on segregation within school systems. Brown v. Board of Education was the name given to five separate court cases that concerned the issue of segregation in public schools....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Research Papers
1266 words (3.6 pages)

Brown v. Board of Education Essay

- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas was a milestone in American history, as it began the long process of racial integration, starting with schools. Segregated schools were not equal in quality, so African-American families spearheaded the fight for equality. Brown v. Board stated that public schools must integrate. This court decision created enormous controversy throughout the United States. Without this case, the United States may still be segregated today. Although the Fourteenth Amendment, when adopted in 1868, gave certain rights to blacks, including citizenship, equal protection of law and other freedoms, African-Americans were considered inferior by whites in this country....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Research Papers
1158 words (3.3 pages)

Essay Brown Vs. Board Of Education

- Brown vs. Board of education was actually five cases from five different states rolled into one. The states were Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. The reason it was done this way is because the Supreme Court wanted to answer once and for all the question about whether it was possible to have “separate but equal” school systems. Bringing five cases together into one was also done “so that the decision would not smack of being purely a southern one (Greenspan, 2014).” They didn’t want to make this seem like the North imposing its will on the South, they wanted this to be about justice and equality under the law....   [tags: Brown v. Board of Education]

Research Papers
1160 words (3.3 pages)

After lunch at Pizza Hut, I drove him to his father’s house, which was conveniently on the way to Evergreen Park, four blocks north of 95th street. When I left, I was instructed by his father to take the road back to the main avenue before going south to 95th. Back at school, I saw a picture of his high school graduating class hanging in his dorm, and for the first time, I saw a school picture where everyone was black with a white face here and there. The faces of my school pictures were always half white and splashed with various colors between. It was after those combined experiences that, for the first time in my life (and it took 19 years) I was able to accept that the whole world hasn’t racially integrated.

On April 2, 2004, Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, gave a lecture in Smith Memorial Hall as a 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education entitled “The Broken Promise of Brown.” The long and short of the lecture simply stated that despite the laws that have been passed since Brown v. Board of Education, the integration process promised by the Supreme Court still has not been fulfilled. It was not exactly the most serious speech ever given; there were plenty of political cracks at President Bush and other sarcastic points which always raised chuckles from the audience, making the lecture exciting enough to keep even the students attending their 15th lecture of the day awake until the end. I admit that I half enjoyed spending my Friday evening in a lecture with Mr. Bond, even though I didn’t exactly see eye to eye with everything Julian Bond proposed and argued that night. One of the topics specifically discussed in both Bond’s lecture and in the Question-and-Answer session that followed was the Chicago school system, and I could think only of my friend whom I had visited exactly one week before. I never would have understood the reality of what was being discussed by Mr. Bond and by a Chicago school teacher when they talked about the Chicago schools if I had never met my friend and acquired a knowledge of his experiences. Instead I would have scoffed at the problems as over exaggerated. More important than the issues brought up and analyzed that night was the simple fact of our presence. From Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, and Nancy Cantor, the University’s Chancellor, to the students with notebooks in hand, and the assortment of political figures, activists, professors, and teachers, we united not only to remember the Court ruling of Brown v. Board of Education 50 years ago but also to identify existing problems. It was important that a concerned father came to ask Mr. Bond how to give his daughter a fair and complete education unlike the one he had received in school. It was equally important that people such as me, who are not exposed to the problems, were in attendance to understand that there are loose ends still untied.

I have discussed many issues with my friend, different issues of acceptance of minorities by the majority. I recall one discussion we had on affirmative action, specifically in universities. He naturally took the pro-affirmative action side, while I presented my beliefs against it. It seems like a great injustice to those with better qualifications who do not get into a school because of affirmative action. I would feel guilty if I knew I was at a school simply because I was a minority in some way and that better qualified students were unable to be in the same place. My argument was struck down immediately: my friend, who had only been accepted because of affirmative action, said he didn’t feel any guilt or inadequacy at all. He said he (and I can attest on his behalf) didn’t have the same opportunities that others—students not too different from myself—have had. I know that he is as capable as anybody else at the University of Illinois and that he very much deserves to get an education here, and I was a bit shocked when he told me he was accepted to the school because of affirmative action. A person’s high school GPA and ACT score could not possibly give due justice to a person, labeling them as capable or incapable. So much weight is placed upon the standardized test score in considering the magnitude of a person, yet it is such an unfair measure. My high school offered ACT classes and strongly encouraged our attendance. When people in one community have the luxury of attending after-school classes while people in another community take a bus 45 minutes to a part time job so they can hopefully afford to go to college if they get accepted, it is obvious who will have the higher test scores. Higher test scores do not necessarily mean that the people who have the opportunity to take the classes are more intelligent than those who are struggling to make college a possibility. I will not say that I have completely changed my thinking or that I am completely for affirmative action. I still believe it is unfair to qualified students if they cannot get a spot in a school reserved for a person of particular race or gender, but by the current means of measuring a student, some system is necessary to allow the same opportunities for the equally qualified students who lack the higher test scores. Unlike my friend, who was raised and educated in a poor area of Chicago, whose school did not offer the same advanced courses, and whose life did not allow for the same scholastic focus, I have been blessed with more opportunities than I knew I even had. Until the same education is given to the black schools in the south side of Chicago as in the white suburban schools of Naperville and Aurora, the test scores which are so heavily weighted in judging students are nothing more than meaningless numbers on paper. The Brown v. Board of Education ruling promised equal opportunities to students of all races, but today, 50 years later, I am finally aware of the continuing stratification in educational privilege between races.

Julian Bond lectured on April 2nd about the failure of US in upholding this promise and called for everyone to continue to push for equal education until the promise made by Brown v. Board of Education has been fulfilled. The scars of ignorance given to me during my childhood in Naperville (I mean Aurora) will forever remain, despite my exposure to reality. I feel, however, that I have now been awakened to the real problems of school segregation as it exists today. Julian Bond made me aware of a problem my closest friends struggle with—a problem I was blind to before April 2nd. It is not possible to calculate the ways of the world by simply analyzing the immediate surroundings, because 30 miles away there could exist a completely different reality. I was fortunate to have my eyes opened, and I can only hope that others as ignorant as me may have the opportunity to realize the problems that still exist today.
Return to 123HelpMe.com