Justice The History of 'Brown V Board Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

Justice: The History of 'Brown v. Board of Education' and Black America's Struggle for Equality," by Richard Kluger. Specifically, it will discuss what three issues/events/or people contained in the book were the most significant. Many events led up to the monumental Supreme Court decision that led to desegregation of America's schools. Bringing the issue to the courts involved brave men and women, a hope and need to alter history, and the people's need for racial equality.


Simple Justice" recounts the story of the landmark Brown v. The Board of Education case in heard in Topeka Kansas, which, simply stated, created non-segregated education in America. The author wrote the book so the nation could take a look at how to "exploit its inner resources," and work through the continuing and continual problem of racial segregation. "Material values in themselves, in short, can neither explain nor sustain the American achievement: the nation must exploit its inner resources as well if it is longer long at the center of the global stage" (Kluger ix). The case of Brown v. The Board of Education helped create the busing of black children into white schools, where they would get a better education, but it certainly did not end the racial strife and hatred that still exists in the country today.

This is an important book covering an important - even monumental decision, and of course, there are many events and individuals who are important to the overall outcome of the case. One of the most influential people in the book is Joseph Albert DeLaine, who might be called the "father" of the school bussing issue. What Rosa Parks was to civil rights, DeLaine was to the issue of school bussing for black children. The white children of Clarendon County, South Carolina had school buses, but the black children did not, and when parents asked for one they were told "We ain't got no money to buy a bus for your nigger children" (Kluger 4), by the white chairman of the school board. Unfortunately, most of the black children did not attend school. Most blacks in Clarendon County were illiterate, and J.A. DeLaine, a teacher and a preacher wanted to do something about it. Initially, his bussing aspirations were small - he simply wanted a bus for local black children who lived in outlying areas of his own small town in South Carolina. Eventually, his campaign would lead to a nationwide confrontation about school desegregation and bussing, which would "change America profoundly" (Kluger 26). It would also change DeLaine's life profoundly. His stubborn determination eventually cost him his church, his home, his livelihood, and nearly his life, when vindictive whites burned down his home and church, fired him from his job as schoolteacher, and literally ran him out of the county. The original case he championed, "Briggs v. Elliott," had mushroomed into a case eventually heard by the Supreme Court on December 7, 1953, lumped in with several other cases from other U.S. states, into the now legendary "Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas." DeLaine said as he waited to enter the courtroom to view the court's decision, "If I had it to do over again, I would. I feel that it was worth it. I have a feeling that the Supreme Court is going to end segregation'" (Kluger 667).

As the judgment of the Supreme Court noted, the Civil War also played an important role in the segregation in the first place, especially in the South. Justice Robert Jackson noted in a memo to the court,

Since the close of the Civil War the United States has been "hesitating between two worlds - one dead, the other powerless to be born." War brought an old order to an end but as usual force proved unequal to founding a new one. Neither North nor South has been willing really to adapt its racial practices to its professions. The race problem would be quickly solved if some way could be found to make us all live up to our hypocrisies (Kluger 688).

After the Civil War, blacks were emancipated and freed of the bonds of slavery, but they were certainly not equal in society. It took them over 100 years to gain civil rights, and this desegregation decision by the Supreme Court was just the start of a long and bitter war to gain equality and justice. The end of the Civil…

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