My Law Life

by Scott Ealy (Effingham, Illinois, USA)

Hearts And Minds Of Children / A Parent’s Gift

   
     

    

  

To separate them 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.

  

U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education

  

  

  

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing racial segregation in public education.

  

Although Brown was decided in 1954, schools in the South generally didn’t “get around” to desegregating until 1970, at which time the “whites only” private academies sprang into prominence (under the guise of Christian education, no less).  Public schools were abandoned by racist whites and the sheep who either couldn’t or wouldn’t stand up to them.

Even now, in some areas the situation has improved very little.

  

   

How did parents equip their children with self-esteem in the face of (separate and unequal) state-supported segregation prior to Brown v. Board of Education?

  

Soundbite:

  

Listen as my late friend, civil rights leader Aaron Henry of Clarksdale, Mississippi, addresses his upbringing:

  

  

[Recorded at Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, Mississippi (1993)].

   

   

  

  

For The Record:  During my law school years, our only school-aged child attended the public school system in Jackson.  At one point in this experience, voters in majority white precincts voted in 1991 against a bond issue to guarantee classroom air conditioning for children in the predominantly African American local public schools.

  

I also do not understand parents who would deny their own children the opportunity to learn not only with, but from children of other cultures and experiences.  The lesson often missed is that we all are much more alike than different.

  

  

A Thought:  The USA has been a nation for fewer than 225-years.  Most forms of racial discrimination have been outlawed (in fact) only during the last fifth of this nation’s existence.  We have much to learn.

  

  

  

Scott Ealy

  

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Written by scottealy

May 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm

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