The 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education is an important reminder to advocates for civil rights, in all contexts, to remember why it is we do the work we do.
Taking even a quick look back at some of the clips over the weekend was, for me, nothing short of inspirational. That racial justice advocates could believe in their mission and win during a time of deep-seated racial discrimination and violence is nothing short of a miracle.
So that hopefully you could get the same feeling, I decided I had to find and post a video that at least begins to remind us of this most basic fight for equality in America.
Here is a slightly dated but still inspirational PBS video of that victory.
This weekend I basked in the glow of this video, and a few others, secretly congratulating myself for being an, albeit tiny, modern part of this oldest of struggles for equality in America.
And then the New York Civil Liberties Union was a complete killjoy - I received the below email from them Sunday.
Well - back to work folks...
NY Has the Most Segregated Schools in America
Sixty years ago, the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, ending legal segregation in public schools.
But equal education for all New York children remains a dream deferred.
New York has the most segregated schools of any state in the country–with the worst segregation upstate. Some schools have been called "apartheid schools" because racial isolation is so extreme.
It's time to reaffirm our commitment to Brown. Tell New York's policy makers that you want real solutions that fix school segregation in New York.
Racial isolation is harmful to children. On top of that, children in mostly black and Latino schools have shockingly fewer resources such as certified teachers, computers, libraries, art classes and textbooks. Unsurprisingly, they receive lower scores on standardized tests from grade school to high school and are far less likely to graduate.
Honor this proud moment in our country's history by telling New York's political leaders it's time to fulfill Brown's 60-year-old promise of equal education.
Thank you for helping New York keep its promise of equal education for all children, regardless of the color of their skin. Please forward this message to your friends.
New York Civil Liberties Union