Cover image for Brown v. Board of Education : a brief history with documents
Brown v. Board of Education : a brief history with documents
Martin, Waldo E., 1951-
Publication Information:
Boston : Bedford/St. Martin's, [1998]

Physical Description:
xv, 253 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Introduction: Shades of Brown: Black freedom, white supremacy, and the law -- Roberts v. City of Boston (1849) -- Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) -- Sweatt v. Painter (1950) and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950) -- Brown v. Board of Education (1952-55) -- Popular response to Brown.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF228.B76 B76 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka was one of the most important legal decisions in the US this century and the effects of desegregation and the legacy of the civil rights movement still greatly influence race relations today. Over thirty primary documents are here used to place the Brown case in its historical context with both contemporary and retrospective responses.

Author Notes

Waldo Martin, Jr. teaches history at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Martin's brief history of Brown is an intriguing background to the events preceding the Supreme Court's landmark decision. This book is part of a series on history and culture and includes a fascinating series of documents that illustrate the legal, moral, ideological, and philosophical arguments of the pro- and anti-Jim Crow forces in American society. Martin (history, Univ. Of California, Berkeley) believes that Brown is a metaphor for the American dream--while the 1954 decision promised dramatic change for millions, there has been a national retrenchment from school desegregation, particularly since Milliken v. Bradley in 1974. He is critical of both the conservatism of the Republican Party, beginning with Richard Nixon but especially under Ronald Reagan, and the capitulation of centrist Democrats to the antiblack conservatism of the GOP. He concludes that school desegregation cannot succeed without a strong national will, yet the white backlash to perceived views of "busing" suggests that voluntary segregation will ensue. In the tradition of Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma (1996), Martin posits that the great hope of Brown--the achievement of true equality of opportunity--will not occur until Americans genuinely resolve the issue of race. All levels. B. L. Fife; Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne

Table of Contents

Maria W. StewartCharles SumnerMassachusetts Chief Justice Lemuel ShawHenry McNeal TurnerIda B. Wells-BarnettPaul Laurence DunbarJustice Henry BrownJustice John Marshall HarlanLangston HughesW. E. B. Du BoisGunnar MyrdalChief Justice Fred VinsonChief Justice Fred VinsonJudge John J. ParkerJudge J. Waties WaringChief Justice Earl WarrenChief Justice Earl Warren
Forewordp. v
Prefacep. vii
Introduction: Shades of Brown: Black Freedom, White Supremacy, and the Lawp. 1
Historical Backdrop: The Constitution, the Law, and Fighting Jim Crowp. 3
The Evolution of the NAACP Legal Campaign Against Jim Crowp. 7
The NAACP's Legal Strategy Challengedp. 14
The Growing Anti-Racist Offensive: An American Dilemma Confronts World War IIp. 19
Continuity and Change in the Legal Struggle: Equality, Equalization, and Direct Attackp. 22
Politics, Social Change, and Decision-Making within the Supreme Court: The Crafting of Brownp. 27
The Brown Decision: Immediate Responses and Immediate Consequencesp. 32
1. Roberts v. City of Boston (1849)p. 42
A Petition on Behalf of Black Inclusion in the Boston Common Schools, October 17, 1787p. 42
A Black Teacher's Travail, 1850s Fugitive Slave Poster, 1851p. 43
Brief for Public School Integration, 1849p. 47
Opinion of the Court in Roberts v. City of Boston, 1849p. 57
2. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)p. 61
"Civil Rights: The Outrage of the Supreme Court of the United States upon the Black Man," 1889p. 61
"The Case Stated," 1895p. 68
"We Wear the Mask," 1895p. 74
Majority Opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896p. 76
Dissenting Opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896p. 81
3. Sweatt v. Painter (1950) and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950)p. 87
"Letters of Negro Migrants of 1916-1918," 1919p. 87
"I, Too," 1926p. 90
"Does the Negro Need Separate Schools?" 1935p. 91
From An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, 1944p. 102
The Petitioner's Brief in Sweatt v. Painter, 1950p. 110
Opinion of the Court in Sweatt v. Painter, 1950p. 116
Opinion of the Court in McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 1950p. 118
4. Brown v. Board of Education (1952-55)p. 121
Mississippi Voter Registration Form, 1955p. 123
The Lower Court Round: Preliminary Deliberationsp. 126
Decision in Briggs v. Elliott, 1951p. 126
Dissent in Briggs v. Elliott, 1951p. 131
The Supreme Court Rounds: The Making of Brown I and Brown IIp. 137
Round 1 Setting the Stagep. 137
Appellants' Brief, 1952p. 137
"The Effects of Segregation and the Consequences of Desegregation: A Social Science Statement," Appendix to Appellants' Briefp. 142
Appellees' Brief, 1952p. 151
Round 2 Reargument on Original Intent and Possible Reliefp. 156
The Supreme Court's Order: The Questions, 1953p. 156
Appellants' Brief, 1953p. 158
Appellees' Brief (1953)p. 162
Federal Friend-of-the-Court Brief, 1953p. 165
Opinion of the Court in Brown v. Board of Education, May 17, 1954p. 168
Round 3 Reargument on Remedy--Immediate or Gradual?p. 175
Appellants' Brief, 1954p. 175
Appellees' Brief, 1954p. 184
Appellants' Reply Brief, 1954p. 187
Ruling on Relief, May 31, 1955p. 194
5. Popular Response to Brownp. 199
Newspaper Editorialsp. 199
"All God's Chillun," Times (New York), May 18, 1954 The Decision of A Century, Daily World (Atlanta), May 18, 1954p. 202
Will Stun Communists, Courier (Pittsburgh), May 18, 1954p. 202
End of Dual Society, Defender (Chicago), May 18, 1954p. 203
Emancipation, Post and Times Herald (Washington, D.C.), May 18, 1954p. 203
The Supreme Court Has Given Us Time, Constitution (Atlanta) May 18, 1954p. 204
Bloodstains on White Marble Steps, Daily News (Jackson, Miss.), May 18, 1954p. 204
The Pattern of the Future, Gazette (Arkansas), May 18, 1954p. 205
Equality Redefined, Herald (Boston), May 18, 1954p. 205
The Segregation Decision, Times (Los Angeles), May 19, 1954p. 206
"Violates" Way of Life, Cavalier Daily, University of Virginia, May 18, 1954p. 206
Adjustment Held Difficult, Mississippian, University of Mississippi, May 18, 1954p. 207
Letters to Editorsp. 207
Times (New York), May 31, 1954p. 208
Sentinel (Orlando), August 11, 1955p. 209
Political Cartoonsp. 212
Chronicle (San Francisco), May 18, 1954p. 213
Christian Science Monitor (Boston), May 22, 1954p. 214
Democrat (Arkansas), May 22, 1954p. 215
Tennessean (Nashville), May 22, 1954p. 216
Afro-American (Richmond), May 22, 1954p. 217
Defender (Chicago), June 12, 1954p. 218
White Backlashp. 218
The Southern Manifesto, March 12, 1956p. 220
White Citizen's Council Noticep. 222
National Progress Report: Realizing Integrated Schoolsp. 223
Decade of Desegregation, Times (New York), May 17, 1964p. 224
Two Decades Later, Times (New York), May 17, 1974p. 225
The Enduring Promise of Brown, Times (New York), May 17, 1984p. 227
Forty Years and Still Struggling, Times (New York), May 18, 1994p. 228
Epilogue: The Legacy of Brownp. 230
Chronology of Events Related to Brown v. Board of Educationp. 238
Selected Bibliographyp. 241
Indexp. 247