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Brown v. Board Of Education

Tue, 11/29/2005 - 2:00pm by Tim

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A thought-provoking analysis of the social, political and legal consequences of the Brown decision, by an award-winning historian:

James T. Patterson, Brown v. Board Of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone And Its Troubled Legacy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

From the preface by the author:

"Brown v. Board of Education, the most eagerly awaited and dramatic judicial decision of modern times, has aroused impassioned debate. This debate flourished not only in the 1950's, but also in later years. In the following pages I explore and evaluate these debates, which reveal much about race relations, America's most contested domestic issue since that time."

From Kathleen Evans Daly, Assistant Director, Ypsilanti District Library:

"James Patterson writes compellingly of the real people surrounding the Supreme Court decision, telling of this landmark court case on a very human scale. The immense hope of the decision, touched by the long struggle and many disappointments of its implementation reminded me that there is no quick fix, but a long process whereby people of courage stand up for what is right time and again, sometimes at a profound personal cost. This is a story of heroes."

From Charles Ransom, Multicultural Studies Librarian, University Library, University of Michigan:

"With such a long title you would think this book would read like a textbook, but it doesn’t. It gives a history of the Brown decision starting with Plessy thru Milliken. In addition, it shows where the seeds of our present-day problems in education were sown in Brown. Patterson gives little-known characters in the story life. For example, you learn about Levi Pearson, a black farmer who in 1948 dared to stand as a plaintiff on behalf of his three children. Mr. Pearson watched his crops rot in the field because no white farmer with a harvester would help him bring in his crops. Or the story of Chief Justice Earl Warren’s visit to Virginia before the Supreme Court announced its decision on Brown. Warren wanted to visit Civil War sites in Virginia and had his Black chauffeur drive him south out of Washington, D.C. Warren checked into a hotel and assumed that his chauffeur would locate lodgings. The next morning he realized that his chauffeur had to spent the night in the car. Warren cut his trip short. These types of anecdotes keep the book interesting and lively."

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