Brown V. Board
When i graduated from Tuskegee I was full of youthfull fire and zeal to let everybody know that I knew everything. I soon learned that i did not know everything. During this time I happened to stumble across a "desegregation" issue that had engulfed the Englewood Nj School system. At that time Dwight Morrow High, was ( and is) predominantly black and so called "latino." It was widely known that white parents, and blacks that could afford it ane felt so moved, paid to have their children go to High School in the neighboring town Tenafly. The town of Englewood under a supposed mandate to desgregate Dwight Morrow called a meeting. I attended this meeting intent on letting it be known that the Brown V. Board case contained very offensive suppositions about black people and that what Dwight Morrow ought to be concerned with was the schools access to proper teaching materials, proper salaries for teachers and a demanding curriculum. I was dismayed to find that one had to sign up before hand to speak so I was relegated to my seat for the duration of the meeting. Fortunately a group of local pastors gave voice to my idea.
The specific issue with Brown V. was that the majority decision includes a passage that says that Black students by being in separate facilities than whites would develop feelings of inferiority and thus needed to be in contact with white students in order to be properly socialised and educated. Mind you, no one asked whether or not white students have feelings of inferiority because they did not come into contact with black students. Also if one talks to persons who have gone to segregated schools you will find that a great many of them were quite well adjusted even if they believed that the facilities were sub-optimal.
Inded if one looks at the statistice one would find that a great majority of Black professionals were the product of "segregated" schools such as Tuskegee, Morehouse and Spellman. If this is so, then clearly "segregated" environments are positive for blacks so long as such environments provide educational and cultural support.
Today I ran across an article regearding a persentation given by Derrick Bell, where he flatly states that Brown V. damaged the educational prospects of many Black youths. I tend to agree with him. While middle class blacks have been able to take flight from "segregated" and underfunded schools, at least 30% of blacks live at or below poverty levels, these individuals have not benefitted from school desegregation.
"From the standpoint of education, we would have been better served had the court in Brown rejected the petitioners' arguments to overrule Plessy v. Ferguson," Bell said, referring to the 1896 Supreme Court ruling that enforced a "separate but equal" standard for blacks and whites. While acknowledging the deep injustices done to black children in segregated schools, Bell argued the court should have determined to enforce the generally ignored "equal" part of the "separate but equal" doctrine.
Rather than resolving the nation's racial dilemma, the Brown decision has made it more complex, Bell argued. "Racial disparities, wide and widening in every measure of well-being, overshadow the gains in status achieved by those of us black Americans who, by varying combinations of hard work and good fortune, are viewed as having 'made it,'" he said.....
...Instead, what Brown did for many African Americans was legitimate the status quo. While they remained poor and disempowered, their status was no longer a result of denied equality. Rather, Bell said, it marked a personal failure to take advantage of one's defined equal status.