Fifty Years Later, It’s Time to Mend Brown‘s Broken Promise

In this article, Boyce F. Martin, Jr., Circuit Judge of the Sixth Cir-cuit United States Court of Appeals, reflects upon the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education and expresses his concern that despite the Court’s message that students should learn in a racially inte-grated environment, little progress, in the last fifty years, has actually been made. Specifically, many schools are still segregated and those schools that have successfully initiated programs to integrate their class-rooms are now beginning to resegregate. Despite this lack of progress, however, Judge Martin believes a ray of hope emerged with the issuance of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. This decision not only reaffirmed Brown’s message that students should learn in an environment where racial integration exists, but also went further by stating that everyone, not just minorities, will benefit from racially integrated educational environments. Judge Martin has confidence that this decision, along with the creation of race-conscious admission programs, will advance and achieve the ultimate goal of Brown.

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