Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Jared Bass Reflects on 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP’s Jared Bass Reflects on 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Washington, D.C. — Seventy years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court confronted the stain of segregation on the nation’s public school system when it declared the Jim Crow-era “separate but equal” doctrine unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education and refused to “turn the clock back” on American democracy.

“To separate [some students] 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,” declared Chief Justice Earl Warren in his opinion, backed by all nine justices.

The court’s landmark decision permanently changed the landscape of American education and paved the way for a host of pivotal protections for underrepresented Americans, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act, the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the introduction of affirmative action policies. However, despite the commendable progress made toward integration in the decades since Brown, stark racial inequalities continue to persist in the U.S. public education system.

Reflecting on the 70th anniversary of the Brown ruling, Jared Bass, senior vice president for the Education department at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

Seven decades ago, the Supreme Court told us that “in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” While we may no longer be separated by race as a matter of law, children in this nation still learn in separate spaces with varying degrees of quality. Every student deserves to learn with, about, and from peers from all racial, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and they should be able to do so in well-resourced environments. This will help us realize and honor the legacy of the Brown decision.

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For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Mishka Espey at [email protected].

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