Spelman College president, author and activist Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75 reflects on the critical education case Brown v. Board of Education on its 60th anniversary. In this article, Beverly chronicles the struggle for integration: “60 years after racial segregation was outlawed in schools, public education is again segregating along racial lines.”
I was born in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1954, the year of the landmark school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. The struggle for integration has shaped my life from the very beginning.
My three siblings and I attended predominantly white public schools in our small Massachusetts town without protest or high court drama, and graduated well-prepared for the colleges we all attended.
But 60 years after racial segregation was outlawed in schools, public education is again segregating along racial lines. And not just in the South, but across the United States.
Schools are more segregated today than in the 1980s, according to a new report released by researchers at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, “Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and Uncertain Future.”
This is the result of continued patterns of residential segregation, and a series of Supreme Court decisions that have quietly undermined the implementation of Brown through a shift away from court-ordered busing and other mandated desegregation strategies.
Image: by Denise Applewhite, c/o Princeton University
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