Synopses & Reviews
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court sounded the death knell for school segregation with its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
. So goes conventional wisdom. In fact, writes Peter Irons, today many of our schools are even more segregated than they were on the day when Brown was decided.
In this groundbreaking legal history, Irons explores the 150-year struggle against Jim Crow education, showing how the great victory over segregation was won, then lost again. The author of several award-winning books, Irons ranges from 1849 to the present as he describes a battle that has stretched across most of American history. He skillfully weaves a gripping legal drama out of the stories of brave, now-forgotten men and women, of luminaries such as Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren, and explores the impact of the Brown decision on the communities actually involved in the case. Perceptive, fascinating, and devastating, Jim Crow's Children is a major contribution to the national debate over race and its implications for the American educational system.
In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court sounded the death knell for school segregation with its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. So goes the conventional wisdom. Weaving together vivid portraits of lawyers and such judges as Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren, sketches of numerous black children throughout history whose parents joined lawsuits against Jim Crow schools, and gripping courtroom drama scenes, Irons shows how the erosion of the Brown decision—especially by the Court’s rulings over the past three decades—has led to the “resegregation” of public education in America.
About the Author
Peter Irons is professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of five previous award-winning books. The most recent, A People's History of the Supreme Court, was awarded the Silver Gavel Certificate of Merit by the American Bar Association.
Table of Contents
Preface: "Where Are the Buttonwood Kids?"
Chapter 1: "Cut Yer Thumb er Finger Off"
Chapter 2: "Forcibly Ejected from Said Coach"
Chapter 3: "We Got a Good Bunch of Nigras Here"
Chapter 4: "Give Me the Colored Doll"
Chapter 5: "We Are Tired of Tar Paper Shacks"
Chapter 6: "I Thanked God Right There and Then"
Chapter 7: "Study Hard and Accept the Status Quo"
Chapter 8: "We Only Took a Little Liberty"
Chapter 9: "We Cannot Turn the Clock Back"
Chapter 10: "War Against the Constitution"
Chapter 11: "Too Much Deliberation and Not Enough Speed"
Chapter 12: "Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?"
Chapter 13: "Two Cities - One White, the Other Black"
Chapter 14: "Too Swift and Too Soon"
Chapter 15: "Doing the White Man's Thing"
Chapter 16: "The Court's Ruling Remains Unfulfilled"
Conclusion: "The Goal Is Quality Education"
Suggested Readings and Chapter Sources