Mar. 12, 2020

Race, Inequality and Racism Is Embedded In America’s Institutions Especially In Public School

On May 17, 1954, The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that separate but equal schools and classrooms were inherently unequal and thus unconstitutional. This decision was met with almost immediate disapproval by every southern state in this country. As a matter of fact the Brown decision was actually going to be ignored by southern states for as many as 16 years. In 1956, southern senators and southern school boards along with governors of the majority of those southern states announced a plan to defeat the nation’s implementation of the Brown versus the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education decision. The formal adoption of what came to be known as the Southern Manifesto was delivered and signed by multiple southern senators. This document came prior to the Brown 2 decision which dictated that southern schools could integrate at “all deliberate speed”, which basically gave southern states permission to slow the process of integrating schools to a crawl.

Today, I read that racist document and refer to the document as I evaluate whether Brown really changed and impacted schools throughout this nation. There was a huge disparity between black and white schools across the nation. That disparity existed not only in southern schools but also northern schools. Northern schools were segregated due to the nature of de facto segregation. Now, it is said that schools both north and south are more segregated in 2020 then they were in 1954. The educational and economic disparity between suburban and urban schools has created two distinct students in terms of classroom performance as well as classroom teacher performance.

Would those racist senators who signed the Southern Manifesto in 1956 be pleased with the inadequate implementation of the Brown Decision 66 years later? We do have two distinct educational systems for white and black students in the majority of communities across the country. School districts still suffer from the perils of de facto segregation in northern cities , and southern school system are not providing the level of education that meets the needs of children of color. Why is this? Why has the Brown Decision failed to meet the need to provide equal educational opportunities to all children of color in this nation? With the increasing level of racism seemingly sweeping across various sectors of this nation. Can this nation ever fully be a society based on equal civil and economic opportunities and equal educational

We need to understand the past in order to build on the future. We cannot allow the invisible strain of racism to rear its ugly head again as it did in 1956 with the Southern Manifesto. One key component to building a truly United course of classroom instruction I feel is mandatory teaching of African American History to every student in this nation. We especially need this form of education to our children in the urban school districts across the nation. Every grade level should have significant unit teaching of African American History to provide a meaningful foundation to our children’s understanding of their past ancestors. We need another Manifesto today, one that promotes the promise of true equality in every classroom across the nation. We also must re-educate those people who feel that the Southern Manifesto is still relevant in today’s society.