Monday, March 12, 2012

Landmark Cases Affecting Jim Crow Laws in American Education


Jim Crow laws in education declined when Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


Photo: Supreme Court Building Night Shot
Key Supreme Court Cases for Civil Rights

In American education over the centuries, the U.S. Supreme Court taketh away, giveth and taketh away again.


Elementary and primary schools, vocational training, college, post-graduate studies, graduate degrees and professional schools leading to doctorates, masters, MBAs, medical and law degrees are programs that conceptually provide equal access. However, receiving a college education is only part of the challenge.


Movie and theater producers, directors, actors, filmmakers and documentary historians, broadcast news media and the Internet have covered race relations in America from the beginning of these technologies. The racist propaganda film, The Birth of a Nation in 1915 was produced using the technology of its day. Later, traditional networks and 24-hour cable newscasts are documenting Jim Crow laws, racial discrimination, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement and modern racial tensions across the nation in recent cases. Where ever the coverage of race relations begins, it usually ends up in a classroom, wither being studied or lived by teachers and students.

The Birth of a Nation, based on an anti-African American play, The Clansman,” was scripted and directed by G.W. Griffith, tracing the Civil War, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Although the film was denounced as racist by many Americans at the time, the movie, which grossed more than $10 million and set a new standard of storytelling on film, was applauded by many other Americans at the time of its release, including the sitting president in 1915 Woodrow Wilson.

Photo: College Graduates
Paying for College Without Going Broke


Against this mixed backdrop of American attitudes immediately following the Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws were cemented into American society through separate but equal after Plessy v Ferguson in 1896. Plessy dealt with public rail transportation but like other Jim Crow laws ended up affecting public education and all other American life.

People who wanted vocational training as nurses went to separate training facilities and were only hired after graduation by separate medical facilities and hospitals. In other words, black doctors and nurses could only treat black patients and deliver black babies, the same way black bodies could only be prepared for burial by black undertakers and then buried in black cemeteries. That's how separate life in the United States was under Jim Crow laws--from birth to death, people were separated by race.

Good employment within those separte bounds could only be obtained by those allowed to even apply for certain positions. Education was the key to changing American society's view of race. However, getting into competitive colleges required getting the foundation in early education. The U.S. Supreme Court made landmark decisions regarding racial segregation and race relations in the 1896 Plessy v Ferguson, in the 1954 Brown v the Board of Education, and in the 1974 Milliken v Bradley

The cases mentioned above were not related in substance, but all three cases had a great deal to do, ultimately, with education, which affords a U.S. citizen advantages in attaining a good life. A good life means the ability to acquire necessities, such as food, home ownership, clothing, transportation, insurance, college education and other things that make life possible and pleasant. Through the preparation for competitive employment and salaries, education, and particularly college, held the key to having resources to purchase homes, shop in department stores for apparel and appliances, get medical treatment, take enjoy movies, sporting events and recreation, go on vacations, and take advantage of other privileges of being Americans.

in 1896, Plessy set forth a legal system, separate but equal, by sanctioning the legal segregation of the races in all aspects of public and private life through Jim Crow laws, as long as accommodations were equal. The problem with Jim Crow laws was evident in unequal accommodations and treatment, and opened the door for extreme discrimination on the basis of race and/or color. The Plessy case had its basis in a Louisiana lawsuit brought against railroad transportation by a nearly-white black man, Homer Plessy, who was chosen to participate in the case by a local civil rights organization because his complexion would not be a factor.

Photo: Homer Plessy (Plessy v Ferguson 1896)
Homer Plessy
It was thought that a nearly white man may have a better chance in winning a challenge against racial segregation because white society treated nearly-white African Americans better than it treated dark-skinned people, judging people proportionately better, the lighter their skin. Although nearly-white people were looked down upon by white people, lighter-skinned black people were allowed a measure of societal privilege.

However, the Supreme Court decided that segregation is "universally recognized as within the competency of states in the exercise of their police powers." This decision left matters of segregation to the discretion of individual states. Officially, Jim Crow laws were born. It took many years of legal, social and political protest from Dr. Martin Luther King's dream to Rosa Parks defying Jim Crow laws in the Montgomery Bus Boycott to destroy Jim Crow laws in the United States. 

Photo: Brown v the Board of Education: Linda Brown
Linda Brown, 9


In 1954, Plessy was struck down by Brown v the Board of Education, named for Linda Brown of Topeka, Kansas. In his first major Supreme Court opinion Chief Justice Earl Warren said, "We conclude, unanimously, that in the field of public education the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

Even as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were protesting during Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-56, desegregation of schools under Brown was already being challenged and gains in school desegregation were slowed and stalled by crafty politicians seeking to satisfy voters and financial supporters. In 1974 Milliken v Bradley in Detroit and other cases precipitated a gradual reversal of the strikes against Jim Crow laws as the nation's conservative silent majority became less silent, pushing back on laws that caused their children to be bused out of safe neighborhoods to inferior schools in undesirable communities across school district lines in an effort for the federal government to achieve racial balance in public schools.

The Detroit School Busing Case by Joyce Baugh
The Detroit School Busing 
Case By Baugh, Joyce A. 
(Google Affiliate Ad)
For many the promise of Brown had vanished by 1974 with Milliken v. Bradley. In The Detroit School Busing Case: Milliken v. Bradley and the Controversy over Desegregation (Landmark Law Cases and American Society), author Joyce Baugh offers the only book-length analytical study of the Milliken case, in which Detroit, Michigan, became the first major desegregation case to originate outside of the South. Michigan Governor William Milliken  was sued for overturning a plan to bus white students to black schools across district lines. The outcome of the case was considered a serious setback for school desegregation.

U.S. race relations, family income, schools attended, and neighborhoods where families can afford to live are factors in modernized Jim Crow laws, education and social systems. I just finished reading a book that everyone in America needs to read: Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision by Peter H. Irons. When I discovered this book, I was intrigued to find in one place the history of American education, traced along the color line. Irons surveys historical documents and court cases, and interviews participants in the desegregation and re-segregation of America's public schools.

Peter Irons, Author of Jim Crow's Children
Peter Irons
By 1974, 20 years after Brown had been decided in 1954, Boston, Massachusetts, was in violent response to public school integration using busing mandates to desegregate public schools. Irons wrote: 

Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision by Peter Irons
Jim Crow's Children:
 The Broken Promise
of the Brown Decision
(Hardcover)

 Jim Crow's Children:
 The Broken Promise
of the Brown Decision
(Kindle)

Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision explains how, 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, or ssuch 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...

From Publishers Weekly: Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that mandated the desegregation of U.S. schools, is popularly seen as a hallmark of American justice. But Irons, professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, surveys recent U.S. history to reveal a quite different picture: many states have found ways to delay implementation of, or totally evade, the ruling. Further, in response to the often violent battles around school busing and a clear rise of conservatism in the country, Irons argues that in 1991 the court began "judicial burial" of Brown by setting precedents that continued to allow segregated schools."

Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi
Many of these books above are now available on Kindle and the new Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi, which also offers more than a million digital books, movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, news, apps, games, and more.

Enjoy the Kindle Fire's vibrant color, touch-screen with extra-wide viewing angle, ultra-fast web browsing, powerful dual-core processor, free cloud storage for your content and an array of useful and attractive accessories like the Kindle Fire Leather Cover by Marware.

www.sunnynash.blogspot.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Buy
 by Sunny Nash

African American National Biography, Harvard and Oxford
African American
 National Biography
Harvard & Oxford

Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's by Sunny Nash
Bigmama Didn't Shop
At Woolworth's
by Sunny Nash
Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press) by Sunny Nash was chosen by the  Association of American University Presses as one of its essential books for understanding race relations in the United States, and also listed in the Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies by the Schomburg Center in New York and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida.

Nash--author, producer, photographer and leading writer on U.S. race relations in--writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking, Nash uses her book to write articles and blogs on race relations in America through topics relating to her life--from music, film, early radio and television, entertainment, social media, Internet technology, publishing, journalism, sports, education, employment, the military, fashion, performing arts, literature, women's issues, adolescence and childhood, equal rights, social and political movements--past and present—to today's post-racism.

Sunny Nash has work in the African American National Biography, a joint project by Harvard and Oxford, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham; African American West, a Century of Short Stories; Reflections in Black, a History of Black Photographers 1840 - Present; Ancestry; Companion to Southern Literature; Texas Through Women’s Eyes; Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy; African American Foodways L; Southwestern American Literature Journal and other anthologies. Nash is listed in references: The Source: guidebook to American genealogy; Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies; Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics; Ebony Magazine; Southern Exposure; Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places; and others.


© 2012 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.



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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Martin Luther King: Dream Speech (Full Text)


Martin Luther King began his "I Have a Dream" speech and civil rights activism against Jim Crow laws when he and Rosa Parks became national figures during the Montgomery Bus Boycott fighting Jim Crow laws.


I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King (Full Text)


Martin Luther King at Washington Monument
Martin Luther King at Washington Monument
Article and Full Video of Speech

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.


But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

A Celebration in Word and Image by King, Martin Luther, Jr.
MLK: A Celebration in Word and Image by King, Martin Luther, Jr./ Adel
(Google Affiliate Ad)









It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Art.Com Martin Luther King, Jr.:
 Measure Of A Man Framed Art Print (Google Affiliate Ad)



I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.


I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
 Volume III: Birth of a New Age,
(Google Affiliate Ad)
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

The road to I Have a Dream at the March on Washington started with Rosa Parks (1913-2005) and the Montgomery Bus Boycott .


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., & Rev, Ralph Abernathy After 1956 Court Victory in Montgomery Bus Boycott
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., & Rev, Ralph Abernathy
After 1956 Court Victory in Montgomery Bus Boycott
In 1955-56, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King worked with many others civil rights activists through NAACP channels to change local and national Jim Crow laws regarding public transportation, making Alabama the Cradle of Freedom. 

With the dream still unfulfilled, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, on a mission to protest racist treatment of city garbage workers.

© 2012 Sunny Nash
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
_________________________________________________

Buy Books by and about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World, Special 75th Anniversary Edition (Martin Luther King, Jr., born January 15, 1929) Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), civil rights leader, advocate of worldwide social justice, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, inspired and sustained the struggle for freedom, nonviolence, and interracial unity. His words and deeds continue to shape the lives and destinies of millions.

A Testament of Hope:
The  Essential Writings
& Speeches of MLK
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

"Brings us King in many roles--philosopher, theologian, orator, essayist, interviewee, and author." -- -- San Francisco Chronicle Review - "We've got some difficult days ahead," civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., told a crowd gathered at Memphis's Clayborn Temple on April 3, 1968. "But it really doesn't matter to me now because I've been to the mountaintop. . . . And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."

Stride Toward Freedom & The Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings together the forces of the modern Civil Rights Movement in its earliest stages and draws the political connections between Dr. King and Rosa Parks. Review and purchase Stride Toward Freedom, also available on Kindle and print formats or make your selection later from lists near the end of this post. In an Amazon review, Howard Zinn wrote, "Martin Luther King’s early words return to us today with enormous power, as profoundly true, as wise and inspiring, now as when he wrote them fifty years ago."

Many of these books above are now available on Kindle and the new Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi, which also offers more than a million digital books, movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, news, apps, games, and more. Kindle Fire Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display & Wi-Fi

Enjoy the Kindle Fire's vibrant color, touch-screen with extra-wide viewing angle, ultra-fast web browsing, powerful dual-core processor, free cloud storage for your content and an array of useful and attractive accessories like the Kindle Fire Leather Cover by Marware.

http://www.sunnynash.blogspot.com/ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com..blogspot.com
_________________________________________________


Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press), about life in the Brazos Valley with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement. Nash’s book is recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations; listed in the Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York; and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida.

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Sunny Nash
Follow Sunny Nash @ Twitter
Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash--author, producer, photographer and leading writer on U.S. race relations in--writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking, Nash uses her book to write articles and blogs on race relations in America through topics relating to her life--from music, film, early radio and television, entertainment, social media, Internet technology, publishing, journalism, sports, education, employment, the military, fashion, performing arts, literature, women's issues, adolescence and childhood, equal rights, social and political movements--past and present—to today's post-racism.

African American  National Biography Harvard & Oxford
African American
 National Biography
Harvard & Oxford

Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's by Sunny Nash
Bigmama Didn't Shop
At Woolworth's
by Sunny Nash
Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press) by Sunny Nash was chosen by the  Association of American University Presses as one of its essential books for understanding race relations in the United States, and also listed in the Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies by the Schomburg Center in New York and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida.

Sunny Nash has work in the African American National Biography, a joint project by Harvard and Oxford, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham; African American West, a Century of Short Stories; Reflections in Black, a History of Black Photographers 1840 - Present; Ancestry; Companion to Southern Literature; Texas Through Women’s Eyes; Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy; African American Foodways L; Southwestern American Literature Journal and other anthologies. Nash is listed in references: The Source: guidebook to American genealogy; Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies; Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics; Ebony Magazine; Southern Exposure; Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places; and others.

  
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