Kamara Taylor: What Did Brown Vs. Board of Education Really Do For Black Children?

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brown vs board of edu

By: Kamara Taylor

The Economic Resurrection of Brown v. Board of Education

The idea that the legislative landmark of Brown v. Board helped to end school segregation can be looked at as another ploy to manipulate minds into the old Negro way of thinking.  Theoretically, schools were integrated as Blacks were allowed to attend school with White counterparts.  But economic disparities quickly changed this form of integration.

The idea that segregation in schools does not exist is a myth.  In Chicago, students are traditionally placed in neighborhood schools as school districts are solely based on where students live.  Growing up as a Chicago Public School student, individuals in the school looked like me due to our race, ethnic and socio cultural similarities. If a parent with limited resources wanted to take their child from a failing community school and place them in a school with better resources, that parent could be arrested.  Where is the equality and integration in that? The landmark decision of Brown v. Board only pacified Blacks because that policy was not fully implemented from policy to action.

In theory, race was placed on the back burner and economics was used to further subjugate Blacks to segregation in our educational system.  Opponents will argue that this does not apply at the collegiate level.  However, due to the lack of educational integration at primary grade levels, few minorities are educationally equipped to perform at the same level as their counterparts.  Because of this, Blacks remain limited in diversity and academics.  Opposed to just protesting and marching against the massive amount of school closures that are harming our children, let us also be mindful of the fact that Brown v. Board continues to exist and economics have overpowered race in keeping our educational system segregated. This is a little educational food for thought. 


Kamara Taylor

Masters of Art Political Science
Phd candidate Cognitive and Instructional Psychology

28 Comment

  1. Socioeconomic is the new racism


  3. Beautifully put.

  4. I still don't understand why sending black children to white schools was the answer. All it did was send black children into hostile schools where they were mistreated by students and teachers alike. Instead of spending all that money on busing why not just take the money and improve the schools by improving the conditions in the schools, purchasing better educational material and hiring more qualified teachers. When are we going to start investing in our own communities? Just a thought.

  5. Well said Kamara. Our public educational system has failed us and segregation is one of many contributing factors. We've got to be more action oriented in our efforts to change this.

  6. and they still are being mistreated by unqualified teachers

  7. It's a form of separation in addition to racism, but is not new.

  8. o boy,

  9. The best educational experience I had in my childhood was at Muhammad's University of Islam, the Nation of Islam's elementary and secondary school system. My parents were financially poor, and they had six children, but they did what they had to to send us to that private school in New York City. When I was twelve, we had moved to North Carolina, and I started attending public schools for the first time in my life. I was shocked by the experience. It was the first time I attended school with boys, the first time I attended a school that was not completely black, and the first time I attended a school where every child was not expected to and helped to achieve excellence. In the public schools, we were integrated in the sense that we attended the same school, but the classrooms and the education was not as integrated. Most black and poor white students were in the lower level classrooms and most wealthy white students were in the higher level classrooms. When I first attended the school, they tested me and found that although I was in the sixth grade, I was on a seventh grade level. But instead of putting me in the seventh grade or in the advanced classes, I was put in the average classes. That was a step up from many of the other black students, but it did not allow me to reach my fullest potential. This type of practice still goes on throughout the nation in "integrated" schools. I have seen parents move their children into the "better" schools in hopes of them gaining a better education but finding that those children were actually getting a worse education. I don't see a benefit in integrated schools. I truly believe the best way for our children to get the most from the education system is for us to have the best of our teachers teaching them and expecting excellence from them. No one else will do that for us. Integration does not mean equality or fairness. It just means your children will be in the same gym class with everyone else's children.

  10. Rich people realized they could make more money if the didn't make slavery about race.

  11. No amount of money can fix the problem — family lifestyles that don't stress education, and feed children who are unprepared to learn to a school system that is not equipped to change children's educational perceptions in a 7 hour day. This is not a race issue, it's a cultural one. I worked with a woman (white) who complained that her child's school expected him to know his alphabet before he entered kindergarten. Her words "that's what the damn school is for!" No, it's not. Turn off the radio and start singing the ABC song with your kids, for crying out loud. I'm not saying that teaching your kids the alphabet is the key to success, just that parents need to be involved in learning as well. Only then will school reforms have a chance of succeeding.

  12. My children are young adults today. However, we lived in a poor neighborhood with underperforming schools all around us. We made a decision that whatever we had to do to educate the children is what we did do. I was fortunate: my husband worked three jobs, virtually around the clock to pay tuition. I worked full-time, too. Neither of us had been to college. The barriers to their success was formidable. For a time, before we gave up our house to pay for tuition, the cost of tuition in their primary years was more than double our mortgage. When my husband lost the job that anchored our lives and provided stability, we had to pull the kids from their private schools. I then looked at homeschooling and open enrollment. We did both. We were up at 430 every morning to get children off to school in far flung suburbs and got home every evening about 7 after we got everyone picked up. We did home work until it was time to go to bed. Today, each of the children has been to college; one has multiple degrees, two are applying to medical school, all have lived and studied abroad, all are multilingual; speaking several languages. Still, the price of their success was very high; we lost our home, our marriage fell apart, and in some ways paid with our health. However, I would say unequivocally: do not wait for the system to give your child, not only and adequate, but excellent or exceptional education. If you do, you'll get nothing or perhaps worse than nothing. I was painfully aware of what could happen to my kids if they even set foot in the schools in my neighborhood. Not ONE AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE passed the basic skills test at the high school in my neighborhood three years ago. THAT IS COMPLETELY REPREHENSIBLE AND SOMETHING I COULD NOT TOLERATE. I could ruin my children all by myself, I didn't need to send them to a place where it could be done to them. I'm a firm believer in opting out of this broken system. When I had no money, I brought the children home and taught them myself. I couldn't do any worse!! My dad was educated in the segregated South in a one room school and received a better education than I did in the integrated North. IF I had to do it over, with the same cards I was dealt, I would do it again – just the same way. If I could use my voice to encourage parents of children of color, I would say, "Opt out of this system. You cannot do worse because you at least love your child/children. Don't wait for this broken system to give your child/children what they need. Do whatever you need to do to educate your kids. It doesn't keep them from experiencing racism, but it does give them options that you and I may not have had." I may not see the end result, but just knowing they have an education that no one can take away means that they know they have the talents and the skills to build on in life. Don't give up! Keep one foot in front of the other when it's hard. Don't let anyone tell you what you cannot do. We can do this! We must do it! For our children's sake, we must. And, we must not forget: we stand on the shoulders of giants, unsung perhaps, but we are their legacy.

  13. This must CHANGE!! The attitude of students must be to RESPECT the teacher, and to believe that they must STUDY! Otherwise, the failure of the system will continue. 🙁

  14. Karen Damewood McLellan , I've said this for years. You're right on point, yet Cassie raises a true secondary issue. My children were skipped when they entered public school because they could read in kindergarden. I was floored…And they from me and sesame street.
    But, busing only teaches our children that no who looks like you is capable in society. Let's invest in our own communities.

  15. with so many successful black people who were brought up in the school system it amazes me how many blacks still cry over dumb shit!

  16. What did LBJ's 'Great Society' do to black families? To many who are in the know, this was the legislation which has destroyed the black family structure.

  17. Coincidental "segregation " is different than by "policy " the gubmint can't do EVERYTHING for you

  18. Moving to RI really opened my eyes to how non white children are treated in schools. In Pawtucket I was going to move to a nice home only to find the local K-5 school held over five hundred students, however a school a few miles away had 230 with more activities, high grade per avg. In a school my oldest attend she have teachers that used the word black as bad when talking about a story with ppl in it. This school have mostly white.

  19. What would Eddie Van Halen do? He’d plug in to a Vox guitar amp!

  20. This is old, nothing new. It is part of the capitalist system of exploitation.

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