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1. Over one-third of states segregated their schools by law.
At the time of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, 17 southern and border states, along with the District of Columbia, required their public schools to be racially segregated. An additional four states—Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming—permitted local communities to do the same. Although Black and white schools were supposed to be “separate but equal” in accordance with the Supreme Court’s 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, in reality they were anything but. In 1954 southern Black schools received only 60 percent of the per-pupil funding as southern white schools, up from 45 percent in 1940. Many southern Black schools therefore lacked such basic necessities as cafeterias, libraries, gymnasiums, running water and electricity.
2. Brown v. Board of Education started off as five cases.
In 1950 and 1951, lawsuits were filed in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia on behalf of Black elementary school students who attended legally segregated schools. Despite differing somewhat in the details, all alleged a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Dozens of parents signed on as plaintiffs, including Topeka, Kansas, resident Oliver Brown, a welder and World War II veteran who served as an assistant pastor at his local church. When the Supreme Court consolidated the cases in 1952, Brown’s name appeared in the title. This was done on purpose, a Supreme Court justice later explained, “so that the whole question would not smack of being a purely southern one.”
3. The lower court cases all ended in defeat.
None of the five lower courts did away with the laws mandating segregated schools. In Kansas, for example, the ruling held that Topeka’s Black schools were “substantially” equal enough to meet the Plessy doctrine. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs received some hopeful signs that the outcome would change on appeal. In South Carolina, Judge J. Waties Waring issued a dissenting opinion in which he called segregation in education “an evil that must be eradicated.” In Delaware, the court found that the 11 Black children named in the case were entitled to attend the white school in their communities. And in Kansas, the court conceded that segregation had harmful effects.
4. The plaintiffs took great personal risks to be part of the case.
After the lawsuits were filed, a number of plaintiffs lost their jobs, as did members of their families, and other plaintiffs had their credit cut off. The retaliation was arguably most severe in South Carolina, where whites burned down the house and church of a particularly energized plaintiff, the Reverend Joseph A. DeLaine, and reportedly fired gunshots at him one night. DeLaine ended up fleeing the state, never to return. Judge Waring was also forced out. Facing death threats, he retired from the bench in 1952 and moved to New York City.
5. Thurgood Marshall argued the case for the plaintiffs.
The great-grandson of a slave, Thurgood Marshall attended Howard Law School prior to becoming the NAACP’s chief legal counsel. In the field of education, his civil rights cases initially focused on the inequalities between Black and white schools. Starting in 1950, however, he moved to dismantle segregation itself. In Brown v. Board of Education—just one of his 32 appearances before the Supreme Court—Marshall opined that state-imposed segregation was inherently discriminatory and emotionally damaging. To bolster his argument, he cited several psychological studies, including one that found Black children preferred white to brown-colored dolls. After the High Court ruled in his favor, Marshall declared, “I was so happy, I was numb.” He later became the first Black justice on the Supreme Court, serving from 1967 to 1991.
6. The U.S. government largely backed Marshall’s position.
The U.S. Department of Justice rarely takes a position in Supreme Court cases that do not involve federal law. But it made an exception for Brown v. Board of Education, filing a friend-of-the-court brief that maintained “separate but equal” facilities were unconstitutional. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on the other hand, was less supportive. While the case was still being considered, he told Chief Justice Earl Warren that southern whites “are not bad people.” And after the Court had ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional, he was reluctant to use his presidential authority to enforce the decision.
7. Board of Education was a unanimous decision.
Following oral argument, Warren told his fellow justices that the “separate but equal” doctrine should be overturned. He then went about wooing those still on the fence, telling one that a dissent would encourage resistance in the South. In the end, all nine members of the court joined an opinion that Warren described as short, readable by the lay public, non-rhetorical, unemotional and non-accusatory. Education is the “the very foundation of good citizenship,” the ruling stated. “To separate [Black children] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.”
8. The case had a sequel.
The Supreme Court included no guidance in Brown v. Board of Education on how to actually implement desegregation. Instead, it called for further court discussions, after which it issued a second unanimous ruling in May 1955. Known as Brown II, this seven-paragraph decision tasked local federal judges with making sure that school authorities integrated “with all deliberate speed”—an ambiguous phrase that repudiated the NAACP’s plea for tight deadlines.
9. The backlash to Brown v. Board of Education was widespread.
As expected, some southerners used all of the delay tactics at their disposal to avoid integrating. In 1958, for example, Virginia officials closed certain public schools rather than open them up to Blacks, and in 1963 Alabama Governor George Wallace famously proclaimed, “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!” By early 1964, only about 1 percent of Black children in the former Confederacy attended school with whites, and those who did often endured constant harassment. Desegregation efforts would not get going in earnest until the later part of that decade.
10. U.S. schools remain widely segregated.
Although racial minorities have made a number of educational advancements since Brown v. Board of Education, the decision did not succeed in a wholesale dismantling of school segregation. In New York City, for instance, 74.6 percent of Black and Hispanic students attend a school with fewer than 10 percent white students. And in Alabama nearly a quarter of Black students attend a school with white enrollment of 1 percent or less.
Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know, often abbreviated as SYSK, is a podcast and video series published by Stuff Media and hosted by Josh Clark and Charles W. "Chuck" Bryant, both writers at HowStuffWorks. Since debuting in 2008, the podcast is consistently ranked in the Top 10 on iTunes and is one of the most popular podcasts in the world, being downloaded millions of times each month. 
The podcast, releasing new episodes every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, educates listeners on a wide variety of topics, often using popular culture as a reference giving the podcast comedic value.  The podcast is available for free on the iTunes Store  and consistently appears in the platform's Top 10.  On January 19, 2013, a television show based on the series aired on Science Channel and ran for one season. On April 1, 2017, replays of podcasts specially selected by the hosts, known as SYSK Selects, began running on Saturdays. Starting October 3, 2018, the podcast started releasing additional short episodes titled Short Stuff, where they cover topics that don't warrant the length of a full episode. 
The Road to Brown
(Note: Some of the case information is from Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy. Oxford University Press New York, 2001.)
Despite the Supreme Court's ruling in Plessy and similar cases, many people continued to press for the abolition of Jim Crow and other racially discriminatory laws. One particular organization that fought for racial equality was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded in 1909. For about the first 20 years of its existence, it tried to persuade Congress and other legislative bodies to enact laws that would protect African Americans from lynchings and other racist actions. Beginning in the 1930s, though, the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund began to turn to the courts to try to make progress in overcoming legally sanctioned discrimination. From 1935 to 1938, the legal arm of the NAACP was headed by Charles Hamilton Houston. Houston, together with Thurgood Marshall, devised a strategy to attack Jim Crow laws by striking at them where they were perhaps weakest—in the field of education. Although Marshall played a crucial role in all of the cases listed below, Houston was the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund while Murray v. Maryland and Missouri ex rel Gaines v. Canada were decided. After Houston returned to private practice in 1938, Marshall became head of the Fund and used it to argue the cases of Sweat v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma Board of Regents of Higher Education.
Murray v. Maryland (1936)
Disappointed that the University of Maryland School of Law was rejecting black applicants solely because of their race, beginning in 1933 Thurgood Marshall (who was himself rejected from this law school because of its racial acceptance policies) decided to challenge this practice in the Maryland court system. Before a Baltimore City Court in 1935, Marshall argued that Donald Gaines Murray was just as qualified as white applicants to attend the University of Maryland's School of Law and that it was solely due to his race that he was rejected. Furthermore, he argued that since the "black" law schools which Murray would otherwise have to attend were nowhere near the same academic caliber as the University's law school, the University was violating the principle of "separate but equal." Moreover, Marshall argued that the disparities between the "white" and "black" law schools were so great that the only remedy would be to allow students like Murray to attend the University's law school. The Baltimore City Court agreed and the University then appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals. In 1936, the Court of Appeals also ruled in favor of Murray and ordered the law school to admit him. Two years later, Murray graduated.
Missouri ex rel Gaines v. Canada (1938)
Beginning in 1936, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund decided to take on the case of Lloyd Gaines, a graduate student of Lincoln University (an all-black college) who applied to the University of Missouri Law School but was denied because of his race. The State of Missouri gave Gaines the option of either attending an all-black law school that it would build (Missouri did not have any all-black law schools at this time) or having Missouri help to pay for him to attend a law school in a neighboring state. Gaines rejected both of these options, and, employing the services of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, he decided to sue the state in order to attend the University of Missouri's law school. By 1938, his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and, in December of that year, the Court sided with him. The six-member majority stated that since a "black" law school did not currently exist in the State of Missouri, the "equal protection clause" required the state to provide, within its boundaries, a legal education for Gaines. In other words, since the state provided legal education for white students, it could not send black students, like Gaines, to school in another state.
Sweat v. Painter (1950)
Encouraged by their victory in Gaines' case, the NAACP continued to attack legally sanctioned racial discrimination in higher education. In 1946, an African American man named Heman Sweat applied to the University of Texas' "white" law school. Hoping that it would not have to admit Sweat to the "white" law school if a "black" school already existed, elsewhere on the University's campus, the state hastily set up an underfunded "black" law school. At this point, Sweat employed the services of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and sued to be admitted to the University's "white" law school. He argued that the education that he was receiving in the "black" law school was not of the same academic caliber as the education that he would be receiving if he attended the "white" law school. When the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1950, the Court unanimously agreed with him, citing as its reason the blatant inequalities between the University's law school (the school for whites) and the hastily erected school for blacks. In other words, the "black" law school was "separate," but not "equal." Like the Murray case, the Court found the only appropriate remedy for this situation was to admit Sweat to the University's law school.
McLaurin v. Oklahoma Board of Regents of Higher Education (1950)
In 1949, the University of Oklahoma admitted George McLaurin, an African American, to its doctoral program. However, it required him to sit apart from the rest of his class, eat at a separate time and table from white students, etc. McLaurin, stating that these actions were both unusual and resulting in adverse effects on his academic pursuits, sued to put an end to these practices. McLaurin employed Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund to argue his case, a case which eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In an opinion delivered on the same day as the decision in Sweat, the Court stated that the University's actions concerning McLaurin were adversely affecting his ability to learn and ordered that they cease immediately.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954, 1955)
The case that came to be known as Brown v. Board of Education was actually the name given to five separate cases that were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the issue of segregation in public schools. These cases were Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Briggs v. Elliot, Davis v. Board of Education of Prince Edward County (VA.), Bolling v. Sharpe, and Gebhart v. Ethel. While the facts of each case are different, the main issue in each was the constitutionality of state-sponsored segregation in public schools. Once again, Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund handled these cases.
Although it acknowledged some of the plaintiffs'/plaintiffs claims, a three-judge panel at the U.S. District Court that heard the cases ruled in favor of the school boards. The plaintiffs then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
When the cases came before the Supreme Court in 1952, the Court consolidated all five cases under the name of Brown v. Board of Education. Marshall personally argued the case before the Court. Although he raised a variety of legal issues on appeal, the most common one was that separate school systems for blacks and whites were inherently unequal, and thus violate the "equal protection clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, relying on sociological tests, such as the one performed by social scientist Kenneth Clark, and other data, he also argued that segregated school systems had a tendency to make black children feel inferior to white children, and thus such a system should not be legally permissible.
Meeting to decide the case, the Justices of the Supreme Court realized that they were deeply divided over the issues raised. While most wanted to reverse Plessy and declare segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, they had various reasons for doing so. Unable to come to a solution by June 1953 (the end of the Court's 1952-1953 term), the Court decided to rehear the case in December 1953. During the intervening months, however, Chief Justice Fred Vinson died and was replaced by Gov. Earl Warren of California. After the case was reheard in 1953, Chief Justice Warren was able to do something that his predecessor had not—i.e. bring all of the Justices to agree to support a unanimous decision declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional. On May 14, 1954, he delivered the opinion of the Court, stating that "We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. . ."
Expecting opposition to its ruling, especially in the southern states, the Supreme Court did not immediately try to give direction for the implementation of its ruling. Rather, it asked the attorney generals of all states with laws permitting segregation in their public schools to submit plans for how to proceed with desegregation. After still more hearings before the Court concerning the matter of desegregation, on May 31, 1955, the Justices handed down a plan for how it was to proceed desegregation was to proceed with "all deliberate speed." Although it would be many years before all segregated school systems were to be desegregated, Brown and Brown II (as the Courts plan for how to desegregate schools came to be called) were responsible for getting the process underway.
Five Things You Need to Know About Brown vs. Board
It’s been 65 years since the landmark decision in the Brown vs. Board of Education case changed the course of history in this country. Yes, it has been that long since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” has no place in the field of public education yet, too many students are still not receiving opportunities that most of us want and seek for all children. Additionally, too many students face learning environments that are in disrepair or have a shortage of basic learning tools from pencils to paper to computers.
While you may be familiar with Brown vs. Board, you may not know these five important details about the landmark case.
1. Brown vs. Board was made up of five smaller cases.
Brown vs. Board is a culmination of five smaller cases in Virginia, South Carolina, Washington D.C., Delaware, and Kansas. From 1947 through 1951, families in these states filed suits arguing for the desegregation of their schools, seeking access to nearby neighborhood schools instead of bussing long distances to overcrowded and under-resourced schools.
In Topeka, Kansas, third-grader Linda Brown was required to make a long walk and then travel by bus to attend a school for black students even though there was a school only four blocks from her house. Because the closer school only admitted white students, she was unable to attend. Her father, Reverend Oliver Brown, sought the support and legal advice of the local NAACP, which encouraged Brown to file a case against the Topeka school district. This case became known as Oliver L. Brown et. al v. Board of Education Topeka.
In 1952, under the representation of Charles S. Scott and Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court combined the Topeka case with four other lawsuits, into a single case known today as Brown vs. Board of Education.
2. There’s a reason Topeka, Kansas headlined the case.
Topeka, Kansas and Linda Brown headlined the Supreme Court case because the segregated schools in Topeka were “substantially equal in quality,” explains Michael McConnell, professor and director of Constitutional Law Center at Stanford University. In other words, the segregated schools were performing equally enough to turn the focus to the principle of segregation.
“It’s one thing to attack segregation when separate but equal is really just a fiction, but when separate but equal is a reality, at least pretty close to it, as in Topeka, you have to go after the actual principle that segregation is wrong,” explains McConnell in a Khan Academy video on the case, “And not just wrong because it tends most of the time to lead to material disadvantage.”
To the NAACP, Topeka created an opportunity to focus on how segregated schools made black children feel less than their white peers, creating and reinforcing feelings of inferiority that are damaging to children’s self-esteem.
3. Brown did not directly overrule Plessy vs. Ferguson.
Although there’s quite a lot of social and legal history leading up to the Brown vs. Board case, a good place to start is the 1896 Supreme Court decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson. This case legalized segregation with a ruling that “separate but equal” was fair and “was not a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment requiring equal protection to all,” as explained in PBS’s Slavery by Another Name. With this decision, segregation became rampant in schools, theaters, restaurants, transportation, and other public places through a series of laws and practices known as “Jim Crow.”
The Brown vs. Board case was the culmination of a “long campaign by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to overturn Plessy,” explained Theodore Shaw, professor of law and director of the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina School of Law, in the Khan Academy video. The NAACP had been “chipping away at the edges of segregation, and then they turned directly to school segregation in the Brown cases.” But the Brown decision didn’t overrule Plessy directly. It was solely focused on segregation in schools, ruling that separate schools cannot be equal.
4. Brown opened the door for desegregation everywhere.
Even though Brown only prohibited segregated schools, courts began striking down segregation in public libraries, transportation, other public places, all citing the Brown case.
“The legacy of Brown vs. Board is more that it began an era, an era of change when it comes to racial justice and equality in this nation,” explained Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, in an 2012 Alliance for Excellent Education video on the landmark case. Brown was followed by pivotal moments in a desegregating America: the Montgomery bus boycott, the Little Rock Nine, sit-ins in Birmingham, Alabama, the March on Washington, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“No civil rights movement or desegregation would have been possible without Brown,” said Shaw. “Brown was the case that cracked the edifice of Jim Crow segregation.”
5. The promise of Brown remains unfulfilled.
Even 65 years later, many of the challenges the decision sought to rectify remain. School segregation is still a widespread issue in communities across the country, with recent research showing that segregation for black students is rising in all parts of the U.S.
This new research, which comes from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, shows that the number of intensely segregated schools, or those enrolling 90 to 100 percent non-white students, has tripled from 5.7 percent in 1988 to 18.2 percent in 2016. Beyond this trend, the data also shows that:
- White students attend schools where 69 percent of the students are white.
- Black students attend schools where 47 percent of the students are black.
- Latino students attend schools where 55 percent of the students are Latino.
What’s happening to reverse these trends, and how common are integration efforts?
The Civil Rights Project says that at the federal level, the government has “no programs devoted to fostering voluntary integration of schools” and that “it has been decades since federal agencies funded significant research about effective strategies for school integration.” However, on the eve of the 65 th anniversary of Brown vs. Board, the House Committee on Education and Labor announced that it would mark up two bills dedicated to school diversity and protecting students’ civil rights.
At All4Ed, we are embarking on a yearlong equity campaign to shine a light on the continuing needs of students—no matter their race, zip code, or background—and the unmet promise of Brown vs. Board.
We Want to Hear from You!
When you think about Brown vs. Board, which unmet challenge is the most important to you? What gives you hope? Share your thoughts in the comments below, visit all4ed.org/brownvboard to email us your story, or tweet your thoughts using #OurChallengeOurHope.
Resources and References
Ntombikayise Gladwin Gilman is a development intern at All4Ed.
Caroline Waldman is the communications and social media manager at All4Ed.
The Effect of Brown v. Board of Education on Blacks' Earnings
Better schools and school desegregation tended to raise the earnings of southern-born African-American men, but not all of that progress can be attributed to the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The public profile of that landmark ruling overshadows the slow, long-term process that raised the quality of schooling available to southern black children. In Evaluating the Role of Brown v. Board of Education in School Equalization, Desegregation, and the Income of African-Americans (NBER Working Paper No. 11394), co-authors Orley Ashenfelter, William Collins, and Albert Yoon study the labor market implications of, first, providing more equal resources for black schools in the South and, later, bringing about school desegregation.
The earnings gap between southern-born black men and non-southern-born black men in the same birth cohort narrowed by about 10 percent in the post-desegregation group.
In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the Supreme Court affirmed the right of states to enforce racial segregation "for the promotion of the public good." During the first third of the twentieth century, wide racial disparities in basic measures of school inputs, such as the length of the school year and students per teacher, were the norm in the South. In Alabama in 1910, for example, the average school year for white students was more than 30 days longer than for blacks, and there were approximately 12 more black students per teacher than white students per teacher. These disparities began to narrow twenty years before the Brown decision. As legal pressures mounted, southern state and local governments took the "equal" part of "separate but equal" more seriously.
The authors ask: If black workers who were born in the South in the 1920s and 1930s had attended schools with the same measurable characteristics (for example, length of school year and students per teacher) as white schools, how much higher might their income have been later in life? To answer this question, the authors use individual-level data from the 1970 census to estimate the average labor market returns to school quality for southern-born black men. The results suggest that southern-born black men from the 1920s birth cohorts would have earned 6 to 9 percent more than they actually did in 1970 if they had gone to "equal" schools. For southern-born black men from the 1930s birth cohorts, income would have been 2 to 5 percent higher. The relatively small difference indicates that this later birth cohort attended schools that were fairly similar to white schools in terms of school-year length and students per teacher. The link between school quality and income is forged largely by the connection betw een school quality and years of educational attainment - southern-born black men who went to better schools completed more grades and therefore earned higher incomes. Thus, the disparities in school resources were a significant factor in determining the earnings gap between southern-born blacks and whites, but a large earnings gap remains after accounting for differences in school quality.
Ashenfelter, Collins, and Yoon argue that the education level of black parents is an important consideration in this long-run context. Their analysis suggests that parental education had a strong influence on children's educational attainment and subsequent earnings. In this sense, discrimination in the allocation of school resources in one generation tended to spill over to the education and earnings of the subsequent generation of African American workers.
In the second part of the paper, the authors examine the impact of post-1964 southern school desegregation. On the eve of the Brown decision in 1954, the Southern Education Reporting Service found that essentially no black children attended school with white children in public schools in the Deep South and that very few black children in Border States did. In 1956, one poll found that only 14 percent of Southern whites thought that black and white students should attend the same school, and that poll included whites in the Border States and Washington, D.C. With that public opinion in the background, southern states and local governments exercised a variety of legal tactics to forestall any meaningful school integration. The Civil Rights Movement was making inroads through the courts, but even five years after the infamous 1957 standoff in Little Rock, Arkansas, only 1 percent of southern black students attended school with whites. Starting in the mid-1960s, however, school desegregation in the South proc eeded rapidly as a combined result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and a series of federal court orders.
Ashenfelter, Collins, and Yoon use individual-level data from the 1990 census to evaluate the impact of this sudden and widespread pattern of desegregation on the earnings of southern-born black males. Essentially, the authors compare the earnings of southern-born black men who would have completed their schooling under the segregated regime with the earnings of those who followed behind them in school by a few years or more and therefore, most likely, would have attended desegregated schools. Controlling for several factors, they find that the earnings gap between southern-born black men and non-southern-born black men in the same birth cohort narrowed by about 10 percent in the post-desegregation group. This finding is consistent with "an economically significant, positive effect on blacks' income and high school completion rates." The authors stress that the pattern is suggestive, not conclusive, and they encourage further scrutiny of the hypothesis.
BLM Cofounder’s List of 10 Things White People Need to Do (And My ‘List’ in Response)
Black Lives Matters (BLM) wants a lot of things. Like, no more cops. If you’d like an example of what that looks like, turn on your TV and watch the rioting. But they want that, among other things, like this list from BLM co-founder Chanelle Helm, in Lousiville.
1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.
2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.
3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.
4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists a**holes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.
7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the f*ck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.
8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ d*ck-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.
9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.
10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.
To summarize, rich people, you should consider giving us your sh*t! And to be honest, I’m OK with that. Numbers 7 through 9 are a bit subjective (especially in the identity politics era). Still, anyone who freely wishes to take up any of these other suggestions is more than welcome to do that. And so we are clear when Chanelle wrote this in 2017, she says, “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made, and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”
She was paraphrasing Mandela who was wrong. Poverty is very natural. You can create your poverty, trap yourself in it, (not man-made by others but self-made) even when people give you their stuff or you get the government to do it for you. Poor white people make excuses for their poverty every day. It’s not a problem limited to race.
Helm said the post was meant for white readers who want to help eradicate economic and racial injustice, and was not meant as a “demand” for every white person in the country. She also pointed out, both in the post and when we spoke to her, that it was targeting only people who had the financial means to do so[.]
In other words, please don’t take it as a literal demand upon all people of non-color. And again, I’m still OK with that. I happen to think wealthy white Democrats should lead the way, seeing as the politicians they fund and elect are primarily responsible for suppressing the rights of Black Americans well into the 20th century and arguably to this very minute.
Democrats can also take credit for destroying black families, their educations, and by extension, their opportunities.
That brings me to my rebuttal list, which is very short, and it is simple and easy to implement. It works in whatever context Chanelle intended as well as addressing any number of other concerns. And if you have white-guilt, you can still give your stuff away or donate it however, or to whomever, you see fit, for whatever reason you decide. But this truly is the best, long term resolution for any number of inequities (if not most of them) for a majority of African Americans willing to embrace real change.
Update: Apologies for the extra ‘l’ in Nelson Mandela’s name. It has been removed.
18 Major Moments In Hispanic History That All Americans Need To Know
From the first explorations into North America nearly a century before Jamestown to the banning of Mexican-American Studies in Arizona, here are 18 Latino historical events that every American should know.
What Happened: Hispanics, including mestizos, indigenous and Afro-descended people from the area today known as Mexico, explored North America almost a century before the British first founded Jamestown.
Why It Matters: Hispanics aren't foreigners in this country. Latinos, particularly those with Mesoamerican roots, have deeper roots in North America than those with other European backgrounds.
What Happened: A group of Spaniards, Afro-Latinos, indigenous people and mestizos setting out from colonial-era Mexico traveled into California and founded the city of Los Angeles.
Why It Matters: As of July 2014, Los Angeles is the city with the country&rsquos largest Hispanic population, at nearly 5 million.
What Happened: Poet, revolutionary and Cuban nationalist José Martí spent four years in New York City, where he wrote for both English- and Spanish-language newspapers, developing ideas that would influence his thinking about the often tense relationship between the U.S. and Latin America.
Why It Matters: Martí was one of Latin America's greatest intellectuals, earning him a statue in front of Central Park in Manhattan.
What Happened: Perhaps not for the most altruistic of reasons, the United States extended both citizenship and, shortly after, military conscription to Puerto Rico in 1917, as World War I raged on in Europe.
Why It Matters: Puerto Ricans are American just like anyone born in the 50 states.
What Happened: Octaviano Larrazolo of New Mexico became the first Hispanic elected to the U.S. Senate. As a politician, he pushed to boost Hispanic representation so that the political system would reflect the state's population. He also helped write portions of the state's constitution guaranteeing that people of Mexican descent wouldn't be disfranchised.
Why It Matters: Because score Team Latino!
What Happened: Before Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the courts ruled it unconstitutional to segregate students of Mexican heritage into inferior schools. The plaintiff, Sylvia Mendez, sued after being turned away from a "whites only" public school in California.
Why It Matters: The 1947 decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals helped pave the way for Brown v. Board of Education and played a key role in making school segregation illegal. This undated image provided by the U.S. Postal Service shows a 41-cent postage stamp, to be released Friday, Sept. 14 in Santa Ana, California, commemorating the 1946 court decision, Mendez v. Westminster School District, that paved the way for the nation's school desegregation.
What Happened: Private Felix Longoria was killed in the Philippines as World War II came to an end. When his body was recovered and returned to his hometown of Three Rivers, Texas, the director of the funeral home forbad the family from using the chapel because he feared white residents would disapprove.
The G.I. Forum, a civil rights organization led by Hector P. Garcia, organized a campaign that caught the attention of then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson. He arranged for Longoria to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Why It Matters: This repudiation of anti-Mexican-American sentiment stands as a milestone in the march toward the guarantee of Latinos' civil rights.
What Happened: Following the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and its sharp leftward turn within the next two years, Fidel Castro established a Communist government that remains in place today.
Why It Matters: More than one million Cubans left the island as the Revolution became more radical, with most of them settling in Miami, Florida, a city they transformed. Subsequent waves of Cubans migrated to the United States in the 1980s, with the Mariel boatlift, and the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union upended the island&rsquos economy.
What Happened: In 1965, Filipino and Latino farmworker unions joined in a strike, and later a boycott of grapes in the Delano area of California to protest poor conditions. The five-year campaign ultimately succeeded in forcing the grape producers to sign union contracts.
Why It Matters: This early victory helped secure the place of the United Farm Works and its leader Cesar Chavez, all of whom were key players in the Latino civil rights movement.
What Happened: In the 1940s, tensions in California rose between Chicanos and the Anglo sailors living there. Authorities viewed many young Chicanos, who favored baggy zoot suits, as criminals. Sailors went around beating them up. The tensions eventually erupted into a week of rioting in June 1943, when some 200 sailors descended upon Los Angeles and severely beat several "pachucos," at times stripping the suits from their bodies. The violence was met with indifference from police.
Why It Matters: The Zoot Suit Riots stand as a prominent example of the discrimination faced by the Mexican-American community that offers context for the Latino civil rights movement.
What Happened: During a riot in 1970, police shot prominent journalist Ruben Salazar with a tear gas canister while he was drinking a beer at the Silver Dollar Bar and Cafe in Los Angeles, killing him.
Why It Matters: Salazar was one of the great Mexican-American journalists of his time, who covered local politics with the same vigor as he covered foreign wars. His killing is viewed by many as a symbol of the injustices committed against the Chicano community in California.
What Happened: A champion of black and Hispanic rights who began his career before the end of segregation, Roberto Clemente was the first Latino in professional baseball to reach 3,000 hits. He played in two World Series, winning MVP in the 1971 games.
"My greatest satisfaction comes from helping to erase the old opinion about Latin Americans and blacks," Clemente said toward the end of his career. He died in a plane crash in 1972 while delivering supplies to Nicaragua after an earthquake.
Why It Matters: The trailblazing Puerto Rican-born ballplayer not only built a stellar career, but also acted as politically conscious representative of the Latino community at a time when professional sports included few Hispanics. Score Team Latino!
What Happened: In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed an immigration reform into law that legalized the status of some 3 million people.
Why It Matters: It proves that passing comprehensive immigration legislation is possible.
What Happened: Mexico, the United States and Canada signed a free trade agreement in 1994 that reduced trade barriers between the three countries.
Though money was allowed to cross borders more freely, people were not. Millions of Mexican farm workers lost their jobs as cheap U.S. imports put Mexican farms out of business. Many of those migrants eventually wound up in the United States.
Why It Matters: Many Americans think that Latinos leave their countries of origin in order to pursue the American dream. In fact, economic policies that dry up Latin American jobs drive illegal immigration more than the intangible lure of a foreign lifestyle.
What Happened: California Gov. Pete Wilson (R) championed this draconian referendum that would have made it illegal to provide public services, including schools and hospitals, to undocumented immigrants. Challenged in the courts, the law never went into effect.
Why It Matters: Prop 187 paved the way for a long series of anti-immigrant legislation championed by nativists generally allied with the Republican Party. These laws, that many Latinos view as an attack on their communities, help to explain why the GOP consistently underperforms among Hispanic voters.
What Happened: Following allegations that an experimental Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Tucson, Arizona politicized students, Republican politicians passed legislation to shut it down. Under pressure from state officials, the local board of education dismantled the program, credited by independent researchers with boosting student achievement and fostering critical thinking skills. A lawsuit challenging the legislation has been appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Why It Matters: There are those in this country who feel so threatened by Hispanics that they refuse to let us learn our history.
What Happened: Last year, Latinos became the largest ethnic group in the state of California, overtaking non-Hispanic whites.
Why It Matters: Latinos constantly deal with the misperception that we're somehow more foreign than the other immigrant-descended people who live here. In fact, about two-thirds of U.S. Hispanics were born in this country. In places like California or New Mexico, where Latinos are the largest ethnic group, it's become increasingly impossible to deny that Latinos are as American as everyone else.
What happened: Working class Puerto Rican women were used as human guinea pigs for the birth control pill during the late '50s. Many of them were not told the pill was experimental and were unaware of the potential negative side effects. Additionally, their symptoms were often ignored or thought to be psychosomatic. Three women who participated in the trial died. No investigation was ever conducted to see if the pill had caused their deaths.
Why it matters: The pill is a birth control method most widely used by white women, women in their teens and twenties, never-married and cohabiting women, childless women and college graduates, reports the Guttmacher Institute.
10 Black People To Know During Black History Month
1.) W.E.B. Du Bois
Known as arguably one of the most intelligent individuals to ever live, W.E.B. Du Bois was instrumental in bringing along the process of human rights for African-American’s. In a time when the despotic and abundant prejudice and bigotry towards African-Americans was not only tolerated, it was with reason and law.
Du Bois was the first African-American to earn a PH.D from Harvard University. He was also the founding member of what we know today to be the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
2.) Barack Hussein Obama
Barack Hussein Obama is the first African-American to serve as President of the United States. As our 44th President, he was born to a Kenyan father and English mother. He also served on the U.S. Senate for the state of Illinois.
3.) Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was the single most instrumental force in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950’s and 1960’s. His use of a nonviolent approach to atrocities of humanity granted him the honor of a Nobel Peace Prize and the inspiration of an American nation and world at large. His famous speech during the march on Washington is forever emblazoned in American history as a pivotal point in the nations history. He influenced several political policies and calls to action, most notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation.
Martin Luther King was a living example that one person could change the world, with help of many.
4.) Macon Bolling Allen
Macon Bolling Allen was the first black-American Justice of the Peace (1848) and the first African-American to pass the bar and practice law in the United States (1845). He is believed to be the first black to ever hold a judiciary position in the United States, despite not being considered a citizen throughout most of his pursuit.
5.) Jane Bolin
Jane Bolin was the first black woman to become judge in the United States (1932) . She was also the first black woman to earn a law degree from Yale, the first black woman to pass the New York State bar exam and the first to join the city’s law department.
Bolin worked to end segregation in child placement facilities and the assignment of probation officers based on race. She also helped create a racially integrated treatment center for delinquent boys.
6.) Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche
Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation efforts in Palestine during the 1940s, he was also the first African-American to receive the honor. He also received the Medal of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy. He was also directly involved in the building of the United Nations. Bunch was also a prominent advocate of the civil rights movement, he participated in the March on Washington, and was present during Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
He also attended the Selma to Montgomery march that led to the to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
7.) Christopher Gardner
Christopher Gardner’s story may seem so unbelievable you think it is something that came from a movie – well – that is true, but only vice versa. Christopher Gardner, former member of the Navy was determined to find a lucrative means of employment for his new family (Christopher Jr.), was willing to live on next to nothing – in hopes of completing training for a brokerage program. After his wife and mother of his children left him, he was determined to keep his son because as he once stated,
“I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children they were going to know who their father is, and that he isn’t going anywhere.”
In five years, after training and with just $10,000, Gardner purchased his own brokerage firm (Gardner Rich). He eventually sold his shares in the firm for several million dollars. His autobiography “Pursuit of Happyness”, was turned into a blockbuster film. The film starring Will Smith went on to gross over $300mil worldwide.
Chris also helped fund $50mil to help build the homeless low-income housing and provide emnployment to homeless people in San Francisco.
8.) Eartha Kitt
Eartha Kitt was one of the first mega-stars of her time. Paving the way for the Beyonce’s of today. Kitt, born on a plantation farm and conceived of land-owner/share-cropper rape, moved off the South Carolina cotton plantation and eventually to New York with her biological mother. There she started working on a career in showbusiness, reaching career peaks with a starring role in the Orson Wells film Dr. Faustus, portraying Helen of Troy.
She most notably earned the recurring role of Catwoman in the television version of Batman. But above all of her success in film in t.v., Eartha earned the most stripes as an activist and social speaker on many causes.
Eartha was utterly blacklisted from the professional community for her position on the Veitnam war and the Johnson administration’s policy on the youth who fought.
“You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot.”
She went on to famously quote at a White House luncheon in which Kitt was invited to speak,
The children of America are not rebelling for no reason. They are not hippies for no reason at all. We don’t have what we have on Sunset Blvd. for no reason. They are rebelling against something. There are so many things burning the people of this country, particularly mothers. They feel they are going to raise sons — and I know what it’s like, and you have children of your own, Mrs. Johnson — we raise children and send them to war.
The reaction to the comments have since been unprecedented, she was ostracized in the film community and eventually had to find work outside the United States for years.
9.) Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
Jean Baptiste Point du Sable was Chicago’s first recorded resident, founder, and curator. Although Chicago had been established before his colonization, his residence was recorded as it’s first, and he stayed at the mouth of the Chicago River from years 1790-1800. This cabin Du Sable built for him, his wife and children.
This was at the time named “Checagou” by the native Indians.
Du Sable became greatly respected by the native Indian’s and under the tutelage of Choctaw, he learned the skills that enabled him to open successful trading posts throughout the Lake Michigan mainland. He settled at the mouth of the Chicago River, a home built for him to settle with his wife and children, he named this Fort Dearborn (Later to be named Chicago).
Du Sable was Chicago’s first recorded marriage, he also held Chicago’s first elections and was the first established builder of the little known Chicago-land area from the period of 1770-1800.
As a alleged sympathizer for the American’s in the American Revolution he was arrested by the British military and imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy for the American military. He then moved to St. Charles Missouri where he later died in 1818.
Despite the length of his inhabit, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable was Chicago’s first man.
10.) Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Henry Louis Gates Jr is an acclaimed historian, teacher, scholar, editor and public intellectual. His work on various PBS miniseries is eclipsed by his studies and distinguished intellectual achievements in the world of history and cultural studies. Gates was the first African-American to recieve the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship ( a private foundation with focus in 5 core areas ( Higher education, museums and art conservation, performing arts, conservation and the enviroment, and information technology with software development.).
He has also been asked to give the “Jefferson Lecture”, this lecture is considered to be “the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.”
Gates garnered the interest of national attention when he was arrested outside his home of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The officer was responding to a call of a possible breaking and entering when Gates could not gain entrance to his home. He was arrested after a responding officer and Gates began to engage in an altercation. Newly appointed president Barack Obama responded to the situation saying the police “acted stupidly” in their apprehension of Gates.
7. I Have the Privilege of Escaping Violent Stereotypes Associated with My Race
Given that, throughout this country’s history, White people have been responsible for unspeakable atrocities against people of Color – genocide, forced migrations, lynchings – what a set up that violent stereotypes attach to people of Color and not to White males like me. Or the three White males recently charged with plotting to bomb “black churches and synagogues as part of a race and hate war.”
Or these two, pictured above, who were arrested for threatening the lives of Black students at the University of Missouri, students who had dared to protest rampant racism on campus.
The Huffington Post’s Julia Craven recently taught me that, since September 11 th , White supremacists (who tend to be White) have perpetuated more terrorism in the United States than any foreign threat.
The Southern Poverty Law Center connects nearly 100 killings to a single White supremacist website, Stormfront (whose users also tend to be White).
And though I share a similar skin color as these violent White people, I move about free from violent stereotypes – and I haven’t even brought up all the famous White serial killers!
Meanwhile, Homeland Security misdirects its resources on the surveillance of the Black Lives Matter activists who dare to protest rampant racism in our country.
Black History Is American History Says Rep. Marcia Fudge With New Bill
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 28: Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (Ohio) leaves a closed door meeting at . [+] Capitol Visitor Center Auditorium Wednesday morning to nominate a speaker and choose other members of their leadership team. (photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The Washington Post via Getty Images
Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge has now spent over 30 years in public service. Today she serves as a Representative of the Eleventh Congressional District of Ohio and keeps busy serving as chair of the Committee on House Administration’s Subcommittee on Elections and chair of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations. She’s no stranger to speaking out when something doesn’t feel right and her colleagues will tell you she has a natural ability to bring the sometimes lofty, abstract conversations of the Capitol down to the real world. Inquisitive by nature and a pragmatist at heart, Fudge isn’t particularly keen on putting a bandaid on an issue—she’s the gal with the shovel out to dig up the roots. Today, metaphorical shovel in hand, she’s going back to basics with a bill aimed at rerooting the teachings of American history in U.S. schools.
Fudge’s bill, the Black History Is American History Act, which now counts over 130 cosponsors from the House, aims to mandate the inclusion of Black history as a required component of the American History and Civics Academies’ competitive grants administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, it would encourage continued inclusion of Black history in tests administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of U.S. student success. Simply put, it would ensure that in order to qualify for federal grants, American history lessons would need to include Black history and that students everywhere would be tested on the subject matter.
Fudge says the inspiration for the bill came after yet another Black History Month seemed to come and go marking “yet another year without ensuring that Black history is viewed as an integral part of American history.” At 67-years-old, Fudge is disappointed to see that not much has changed in the education system in regards to teaching Black history from when she herself was in school. “Black history was not taught in the public schools I attended. I learned Black history from my family, church, community organizations, personal research and reading,” recalls Fudge.
Now, she often thinks of those who didn’t have those opportunities, who might not know the proud legacy of Black history that has, in so many ways, shaped the America we know today. What Fudge was not formally taught and instead learned through nontraditional avenues is that Black history is, in fact, American history and believes it’s time that understanding makes its way to history books and classrooms. “The failure to teach all of America’s history perpetuates and exacerbates the myth that African Americans and others were mere bystanders in the exploration, development, growth and prosperity of our country. Too many don’t know the full complexity of American history and have been uninformed and misinformed about our contributions to this country,” says Fudge.
7. Notable Quakers
George Fox - An English Dissenter, who was a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, generally known as the Quakers.
William Penn - An English aristocrat, writer, early Quaker, and founder of the North American territory the Province of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, famous for his good relations and prosperous negotiations with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his administration, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed. The Quaker Oats standing "Quaker Man" logo, as pictured above, was identified at one time as William Penn!
So far, two U.S. presidents have been Quakers: Herbert Hoover and Richard M. Nixon.
Other notable Quakers include author James Michener, philanthropist Johns Hopkins and John Cadbury, founder of the chocolate company having his name.
This article is part of our Denomination Series listing historical facts and theological information about different factions within and from the Christian religion. We provide these articles to help you understand the distinctions between denominations including origin, leadership, doctrine, and beliefs. Explore the various characteristics of different denominations from our list below!