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ALL DELIBERATE SPEED

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The Brown decision which found segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, was handed down on May 17 , 1954.
The Supreme Court ordered desegregation to proceed with all deliberate speed” It was February 1960 and not only had the
schools not desegregated, but the ppor conditions in the African American school-s continued.

Further the authorities in Prince Edwards County Virginia had closed all the public schools black and white and used public
funds to set up private academies for white students only.

The video audio of Attorney Robert Carter: ” The problem with the all deliberate speed was that it compromised the court’s integrity. That was a corrupt decision. When you have a Constitutional right it vest immediately. And what they did with that one, was because of race. They said this over time. A racist decision meant I suppose to ease the south’s acceptance of it. As it turned out it didn’t do that.”

No it did not do that, but it led to the defiance by one woman who was fed up with the Jim Crow laws. The arrest of
Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man triggered a year long bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama.

The Boycott ended when the Supreme Court ordered desegregation of the buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Four years later, that movement led to some defiant teens Wichita, Kansas to take the initiative without the NAACP’ s support to integrate the Dockum drugstore lunch counter.

Nineteen months later, four defiant freshmen students from North Carolina A&T State University have the attention of
the entire country with their sit-in movement at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro’ N.C.

Their movement caught on like wildfire, sparking similar protests and support throughout the country.

The white citizens of Greensboro, NC continued their massive resistance to integration. They would come in on a daily basis, occupying all the seats at the lunch county. They would relinquish their seat only to another white individual. They also tried to intimidate the NC. A&T protesters.

The entire N.C. A&T State University campus was now behind the movement using non-violence as a tactic. The young black students would come in with their text books take their seat at the counter. With textbooks open, they would study.

The store would continued to serve their white patrons. However this became impossible as the lunch counter seats began to f i l l with the black protesting students. At this point, the lunch counter would cease its’ operation for the rest of the day.

Soon the Bennett college students, known affectionately as the Bennett Bells joined the protest.

Although the students were faced with mass resistance and intimidation by the white citizens, the students continued
their non-violent protest on a daily basis.

The African American protesters eventually found an ally in the all white female school Women College in Greensboro. The Women College students were able to attain seats from other whites. They in turn, would give their seats to a waiting A&T student.

Now it was an integrated Protest.

Join us tomorrow as we continue to explore the non-violent
protest.

For Spanish and hearing impaired versions, please go to the Febone1960.net Black History Month Calendar

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    Posted 4 years, 8 months ago at 4:51 am. Add a comment

    Blues For Jim Crow: Plessy Returns To The Court Of The Land

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    Thurgood Marshall and his expert team of NAACP lawyers have now arrived before the Supreme Court to argue the most important case of them all: Brown v. Board of Education.

    The high court had combined all five of the NAACP sponsored cases filed by Marshall and his team for a hearing. The last time the high court had combined the five cases pertaining to the civil rights of African Americans, was in 1883. The decision rendered in that case invalidated the civil rights act of 1875 wiping out all the rights vested by Congress to African Americans during Reconstruction. That decision lead to Plessy. That same decision outraged African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Henry McNeil Turner.

    In an article appearing in the New York paper the New York Voice and the AME publication the Christian Recorder, asked the African American community to pray for a new Court.

    Marshall would now argue this important case before a new Court: The Vinson Court. Before the case would be decided, he would re-argue the case before a different Court. He would reargue the case before the Warren Court.

    Associate Justice Hugo Black would sit on both Courts. Franklin Roosevelt nominated Hugo Black to the Court. Before sitting on the high court, he had been a successful trial lawyer turned politician in Alabama. During his days in Alabama, and before being elected to the U.S. Senate, Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Black’s membership had been exposed by a reporter, after his confirmation to the high court. It was questionable as to whether he would be willing to protect the rights of all including that of African Americans. Hugo Black commented once on the subject by way of a radio address.

    Now the case of Brown v. Board of Education was before Hugo Black and the Unites states Supreme Court. A case of whether segregation is a violation of African American Rights to equal protection under the law as it is prescribed by he 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Thurgood Marshall and Robert Carter were up against John W. Davis, a former Presidential candidate who was making the last of his 140 appearances before the Supreme Court. Davis’ argument: separate was not necessarily unequal. He went on to say that blacks should be happy with the way things were. He also addressed states rights asking the question didn’t state have the right to educate their children as they saw fit? All in all Davis felt that he had won the case because he had Plessy on his side and Plessy was precedent. He had not given any consideration to the Gaines, Murray Sweat Supuel and McLaurin cases. Cases that Marshall and Houston had argued and won before the high court: cases that had chipped away at Plessy.

    In a conference held after the hearing, the Justices never got to a vote. In a private memo associate Justice William Douglas that there were four votes to strike down segregation. The other five associate justices were not ready to do so. Counted amongst the four votes was associate justice Hugo Black. All of the justices felt that segregation was morally wrong. The conference raised some interesting questions: questions that prompted the Justices to schedule another hearing. Before the hearing could be scheduled, Chief Justice Fred Vinson died of a heart attack. President Dwight Eisenhower nominated former California Governor Earl Warren to replace Vincent as the Chief Justice.

    After the rehearing, the chief Justice acting as a politician talked individually to each associate justice. On May 17, 1954 Chief Justice Earl Warren read the following decision of a unanimous court: We come to the question presented that segregation of children in public schools solely on the bases of race even though the physical facilities, and other tangible factors may be equal deprive the children of the minority group equal educational opportunities. We believe that it does. We conclude that in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the action has been brought are by reasons of the segregation complained of deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment. The Supreme Court had overturned Plessy.

    Houston plans of chipping away at Plessy had made this victory possible. It was unfortunate that he did not live to share in this victory.

    I’m Penny Marshall.
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      Posted 4 years, 8 months ago at 2:38 am. Add a comment

      A Showdown With Jim Crow Part II: Clarendon South Carolina

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      On March 16, 1948 local Attorney Harold Bouleware together with Thurgood Marshall filed in U.S. District Court the case of Levi Pearson v. Board of Education. The case was dismissed on a technicality. The Court ruled that Mr. Pearson had no legal standing because he paid taxes in District 5 and his children attended school in District 21 and 26. The dismissal did discouraged a determined Reverend Delaine and by 1949 he had obtained enough signatures to file a second case.

      The national office of the NAACP agreed to sponsor their case. Now the Clarendon county African American community was not just seeking buses, but educational equality. In May of 1950, with the help of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the case of Briggs v. Elliott was filed. Two months later, the plaintiffs’ attorney moved from simply pursuing equalization of facilities and obtaining buses to attacking segregation.

      The lead plaintiff in that case was Harry Briggs a WWII naval veteran. Harry had volunteered and risked his life abroad to fight for the double victory. Harry fighting side by side with the other U.S. forces defeated the enemy without, but the enemy within was still pounding him economically and emotionally. He must now continue his battle against Jim Crow in a court system, a court system that gave birth to Jim Crow when it upheld Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.

      In 1939, as part of Mamie Clark’s research for her master’s degree at Howard University, the husband and wife team of Mamie and Kenneth Clark designed a study using dolls to test black children’s ego and self-esteem. In there study, they showed black and white dolls to children to test whether they would respond differently to dolls of different races by asking them which dolls were pretty and nice and which ones were bad. Not surprisingly, the white children included in the study overwhelmingly preferred the white dolls. The Clarks found that two thirds of the black children also preferred the white dolls saying that they were nice and pretty and the black dolls were bad and ugly. When the Clarks asked the black children which doll looked more like themselves, some chose the white dolls, some couldn’t answer and some just broke down in tears. The Clarkes’ concluded from their studies years of existing under the black codes through racial segregation and negative images had damaged many black children’s sense of identity and self esteem.

      Thurgood Marshall wisely solicited the Clarks as expert witnesses in Briggs v. Elliott. To prepare for his expert testimony, Kenneth Clark traveled to Summerton, S.C. Using dolls of different colors, he tested the children of Scott’s Branch school to measure how they felt about themselves. He asked the children to show him the nice doll, the bad doll, and the doll that look just like you. Ten of the 16 children said that the brown doll looked bad. The results of these strongly suggested that forced segregation damaged the self-image of African American children in Clarendon County, S.C.

      On May 28, 1951, Thurgood Marshall along with Robert Carter, and Spotswood Robinson brought the case before a three-judge panel at the Federal Court house in Charleston, S.C. The lawyers presented the Clarks study and argued that segregated schools harmed black children psychologically and violated the fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law. The three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court found that the schools designated for African Americans were grossly inadequate in terms of buildings transportation and teachers’ salaries when compared to schools provided for whites.

      However, two of the judges citing Plessy v. Ferguson held that Separate but equal facilities were constitutional and ruled against the plaintiffs.

      The dissenting judge Julius Waring adamantly opposed segregation in public schools. In his dissent he wrote: I am of the opinion that all of the legal guide posts, expert testimony, common sense, and reason points unerringly to the conclusion that the system of segregation in education adopted and practiced in the state of South Carolina must go and go now. Segregation is per se inequality.

      Harry Briggs fight against Jim Crow was far from over. Thurgood Marshall and his legal team filed an appeal with the U.S. States Supreme Court.

      I’m Julianne Malveaux, President of Bennet College. Joins us tomorrow as we continue to explore standing the shoulders of unsung heroes.

      For Spanish and hearing impaired versions, please go to the Febone1960.net Black History Month Calendar

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        Posted 4 years, 8 months ago at 3:08 pm. Add a comment