Business as Usual? Brown and the Continuing Conundrum of Race in America

In this article, Professors Robert Chang and Jerome Culp examine the state of race in America in the aftermath of the landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education. Their findings reveal that while Brown established fundamental precedent in the area of race relations, racial inequality remains entrenched in a number of modern social institutions. Chang and Culp analyze this dilemma by focusing on three distinct trends. First, a cycle of inequality is driven by racial dis-parities in wealth and perpetuated by the interlocking systems of educa-tion, housing, family, health care, employment, and criminal justice. Se-cond, civil rights activists often fall short of their goals following Brown due to an overall system of oppression described as civil rights myopia. Finally, racial remediation schemes also face major obstacles as white identity has intensified since Brown. As a result, little has changed in the ten-year window preceding Brown’s fiftieth anniversary and racial inequality remains a persistent problem in America.

The full text of this Symposium is available to download as a PDF.