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Zora Neal Black Republican

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The Injustice in Brown v. Board of Education

Hushing the Cry, & Squashing the Pride of Blacks in America

When speaking of the Supreme Court's decision to integrate public schools based on a presumed inferiority complex, Hurston's response was simple

I can see no tragedy in being too dark to be invited to a white school social affair. The Supreme Court would have pleased me more if they had concerned themselves about enforcing the compulsory education provisions for Negroes in the South as is done for white children. (Hurston)

Statements from the Supreme Court ruling and reactions from the public help to build the foundation for Zora Neale Hustron's unease about the decision to integrate public schools. "The whole matter revolves around the self-respect of my people. How much satisfaction can I get from a court order for somebody to associate with me who does not wish me near them?" (Hurston)

Hurston's seemingly wayward opinion was perhaps prophetic in that she saw this decision as the beginning of cultural deterioration for Blacks in America.

The legendary case of Brown v. Board of Education is rooted in a black third-grader, Linda Brown, from a multi-racial neighborhood, being denied admittance to a white school that was only seven blocks from her home. When the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was asked to assist in the matter, they proudly took over the challenge to remove segregation in public schools. (Cozzens)

When presented with the case, The Board of Education felt that it was helping black children by denying them the right to associate with white children, arguing that segregation in schools was only preparation for the segregation in adulthood. (Cozzens)

With the local denial of equality, the NAACP armed itself with the Brown case and other cases of similar magnitude, and headed for the Supreme Court.

On the basis of racial separation being against the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion that racial segregation in public schools "has a detrimental effect on minority children because it is interpreted as a sign of inferiority. " (Project)

This decision sent storm waves throughout the nation. "If we can organize the Southern States for massive resistance to this order I think that in time the rest of the country will realize that racial integration is not going to be accepted in the South."--Senator Harry Flood Byrd (Virginia)

The decision to integrate public schools required the further implementation of "separate but equal school systems for blacks and whites" as determined by the precedent case of Plessy v. Ferguson. (Cozzens)

Some Black literary figures, such as Zora Neale Hurston thought this decision was more of ..."a slap in the face" (Wright).

The whole matter revolves around the self-respect of my people. How much satisfaction can I get from a court order for somebody to associate with me who does not wish me near them? The American Indian has never been spoken of as a minority



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