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Thomas Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania- "Rethinking Brown v. Board of Education: The Struggle for Educational Equality in the North"

  • When: April 28, 2010, 12–1:30 pm
  • Where: Woods Conference Center, 750 N Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor

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Thomas Sugrue

University of Pennsylvania


"Rethinking Brown v. Board of Education: The Struggle for Educational Equality in the North."

Abstract: When the Supreme Court decided  Brown v. Board in 1954, the justices, the lawyers who argued the case, and most legal commentators did not consider its implications for schooling in the North. Subsequent scholarship on Brown and civil rights has continued to focus on the South with an emphasis on southern exceptionalism, the distinctions between "de jure" and "de facto" segregation, and the role of official and massive white resistance to school desegregation. The impact of Brown looks quite different, however, viewed from the vantage point of grassroots and legal battles for educational equality in the North over the course of the twentieth century. Sugrue's paper reevaluates the history of Brown in the context of Jim Crow, civil rights litigation, and school desegregation efforts north of the Mason-Dixon line.

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