The 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board: 5 Resources That Look at the History and Legacy

Posted by Julia Rappaport on May 16, 2014

60 years ago tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that separate schools for black and white children were not and could never be equal. Check out these five resources to learn more about this moment in history and its legacy today. Brown V. Board pic The Road to Brown

This film, available from the Facing History lending library, tells the story of the legal campaign against segregation that launched the civil rights movement. It is also a moving tribute to a visionary black lawyer, Charles Hamilton Houston, “the man who killed Jim Crow.” By guiding students through the world of segregation sanctioned by the 1896 Plessey v. Ferguson decision, the cases Houston waged during the 1930s, and the final triumph in 1954 of Brown v. Board of Education, this film provides a concise history of how African Americans struggled for full legal equality under the constitution.

Warriors Don't Cry

Following the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Melba Pattillo became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Warriors Don’t Cry is her autobiographical account of the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. This book explores not only the power of racism but also such ideas as justice, identity, and choice. View or download Facing History's Warriors Don't Cry study guide.

Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later

The wave of desegregation that transformed the South during the 1960s began in Little Rock in September 1957. After Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus defied Brown v. Board of Education ruling and ordered the National Guard to prevent nine black teenagers from entering Central High School, President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded by sending troops to protect the students as they entered the building. To mark the 50th anniversary of the forced desegregation of Central High School, two Little Rock natives took candid look at the lives of contemporary Central High students in this documentary, available from the Facing History lending library. Sharing the stories of both black and white students, the film uncovers the opportunities and challenges facing them in and out of the classroom, and suggests that although black and white students now attend school together, social inequities still remain a challenge in Little Rock, and in the United States.

Choices in Little Rock

This Facing History resource looks at efforts to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 and explores civic choices — the decisions people make as citizens in a democracy. In here you'll find teaching strategies and primary sources that cover themes of identity, race, prejudice, racism, and choice. and explore the relationship between an individual and society. There is historical background and an examination of the decisions that people in Little Rock and elsewhere made in response to Brown v. Board of Education during the 1957–1958 school year.

Hoxie: The First Stand

This documentary tells the story of one of the earliest, most important, and least remembered school integration battles in the South. In the summer of 1955, the school board of a small, rural Arkansas town voluntarily desegregated its schools. The newly formed White Citizens' Council saw this as a test for southern resistance to the Supreme Court's desegregation decision in Brown v. the Board of Education and soon descended on the town. However, the school board held its ground. Eventually, they drew an extremely reluctant federal government into a case that nullified state segregation laws. Segregationalist leaders were so furious over the loss that they turned on Governor Faubus in the next primary, forcing him out of his previous moderate stance and setting up the 1957 confrontation in Little Rock, Arkansas. The film is available to borrow from the Facing History lending library, and is also available to stream for registered Facing History educators.

There is still time to register for our Choices in Little Rock Online Course, a multi-week professional development opportunity that starts June 12. Sign up today! Graduate credit and scholarships available.

Topics: Safe Schools, Facing History and Ourselves, Video, Civil Rights, School Culture, Facing Technology

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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