Cover image for All deliberate speed : reflections on the first half century of Brown v. Board of Education
All deliberate speed : reflections on the first half century of Brown v. Board of Education
Ogletree, Charles J.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., [2004]

Physical Description:
xv, 365 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
The significance of Brown -- The legacy of segregation: what Brown meant in Merced -- Brown's promise: Black students at Stanford -- Brown's failure: resistance in Boston -- Brown's challenge: carrying the torch -- Life before Brown -- Defeating Jim Crow -- Resistance to Brown -- Marshall and King: two paths to justice -- Reversing the Brown mandate: the Bakke challenge -- The legacy of Thurgood Marshall -- The rise of Clarence Thomas -- Who's getting lynched: Hill v. Thomas -- Justice Thomas: a new era in race matters -- The Michigan cases: mixed signals -- Meeting the educational challenges of the twenty-first century -- Addressing the racial divide: reparations -- The integration deal: sobering reflections.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4757 .O35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
KF4757 .O35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
KF4757 .O35 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In what John Hope Franklin calls "an essential work" on race and affirmative action, Charles Ogletree, Jr., tells his personal story of growing up a "Brown baby" against a vivid pageant of historical characters that includes, among others, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Earl Warren, Anita Hill, Alan Bakke, and Clarence Thomas. A measured blend of personal memoir, exacting legal analysis, and brilliant insight, Ogletree's eyewitness account of the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education offers a unique vantage point from which to view five decades of race relations in America.

Author Notes

Charles Ogletree, Jr., is the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Clinical Programs. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Harvard Law professor Ogletree presents an objective analysis of the progress and limitations of the two Brown decisions: the first ruling that separate but equal, i.e., segregation, was inherently unequal; the second urging desegregation with all deliberate speed. Ogletree follows the legal case history in pursuit of Brown, including its limited successes, its failures, and what appears to be resistance to, if not reversal of, Brown's objective. Born around the time of the landmark decision, Ogletree sees himself as a real beneficiary. He places affirmative action in the context of pursuing the objectives of Brown and analyzes the strategies used by Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall to challenge southern states to provide equal opportunities for blacks as a platform for outlawing segregation per se. Ogletree follows Marshall's career in the U.S. Supreme Court, his death, and his replacement by the archconservative Clarence Thomas. Thomas' hostility toward affirmative action reflects our nation's failure of commitment to achieve integration at a time when resegregation appears to be the order of the day. --Vernon Ford Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fifty years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional, Harvard law professor Ogletree takes a confrontational look at the effects of the landmark decision on his own life as an African-American student and scholar and concludes that the Brown ruling ultimately failed to deliver on its promise of equality for all. By insisting that schools desegregate with "all deliberate speed," Ogletree argues that the court essentially told Southern school districts to "ignore the urgency on which the Brown lawyers insisted" and paved the way for decades of resistance to integration. He offers well-documented personal and historical examples to back up his arguments: the lack of quality schools and facilities available to minorities in his hometown of Merced, Calif. (he was two years old when the Brown decision was issued); his own experiences with affirmative action and the increasing legal challenges that have threatened it; and the profound impact of "white suburbanization" on efforts to desegregate urban areas. Ogletree, a protege of Thurgood Marshall, who served as lead counsel to Anita Hill in the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, also provides some interesting-albeit sketchy-details on his initial reluctance to represent Hill and his own analyses of Thomas's pre- and post-confirmation judicial opinions. Although the book occasionally bogs down in legal lingo, it offers readers an honest if fractured account of one man's firsthand experiences with one of the most significant court decisions of the 20th century and brings new insights into America's continuing struggle with race and integration. 7-city author tour. Agent, Ike Williams. (Apr. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Reflections of a Harvard law professor on a momentous court case. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.