The Promise of Justice

Essays on Brown v. Board of Education

Edited by Mac A. Stewart


Jun 2008
Educational Law & Legislation; African American Studies
248 pp. 6x9

$51.95 cloth 978-0-8142-1087-1
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“The Promise of Justice provides a broad audience of readers with a scholarly, yet personal, set of reflections on an important event in the country’s history that continues to affect the manner in which children are educated.” —Shirley A. Biggs, associate professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh

“The Promise of Justice is an important work that brings together an impressive group of scholars, judges, educational leaders, and lawyers who are uniquely qualified to comment on and analyze the impact of the most important Supreme Court decision of the twentieth century. The strength of this book is the mix of scholarly and personal accounts of the impact of Brown.” —Gregory J. Vincent, W. K. Kellogg Professor in the College of Education, professor of law, professor of education administration, and vice president for diversity and community engagement, The University of Texas at Austin

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas (1954) was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in the twentieth century. It overturned the Court’s earlier ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), declaring the establishment of separate public schools for black and white students as inherently unequal. This victory paved the way for integration in public schools and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The Promise of Justice: Essays on Brown v. Board of Education, assembles fourteen essays about Brown and its consequences in the fifty years following the decision.

Several of the essayists in this anthology provide personal recollections of the conditions before and immediately after the decision in Brown. One of the authors was a child plaintiff in a related case. Another was the federal district judge responsible for deciding in favor of, and then overseeing, integration in a major northern city. Contributors to this volume include legal specialists, sociologists, educators, and political scientists. A history of the legal milestones of integration is included, as well as judgments about the progress that has been made and the need for additional actions to assure racial equality under the law. Ten of these essays first appeared in a special issue of The Negro Educational Review published in January 2005, and four were written expressly for this volume.

Mac A. Stewart is special assistant to the president for diversity and a vice provost at The Ohio State University.