“Education in the Hands of the United States Supreme Court: Why is Racial Segregation Still an Issue?”

Abstract: The 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education marked a pivotal change within American society.  De jure racial segregation was outlawed, presumably resulting in equal educational opportunity and a decrease in de facto segregation.  Since that decision, however, scholars have questioned whether the promise of Brown has been fulfilled.  This paper offers a critical evaluation of Brown and the role of the Supreme Court in the subsequent history of racial segregation in education. The Supreme Court’s “retreat” from its strict legal integration policy following its decision in Brown has allowed for racial segregation to remain within America’s educational system. - Kathleen Smith