Brown at 50
Brown at 50: This essay will appear in the Virginia Law Review's symposium issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. It canvasses three issues: (1) why was Brown a hard case for the justices?; (2) how were the justices able to overcome their legal doubts about invalidating school segregation to achieve a unanimous decision invalidating that practice?; (3) what were the consequences of Brown? (and, more specifically, how did Brown radicalize political opinion in the South, thus creating a climate ripe for violence, and how did the brutalization of peaceful black protestors by white law enforcement officers, when broadcast on national television, transform national opinion on race, leading directly to the enactment of landmark civil rights legislation?)
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