May 17 is the 62nd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas in which the court ruled unanimously that segregation in public education is unconstitutional. Some see this as the start of what we now call the modern civil rights movement. It took many years to implement this decision in some parts of the country. My own state of Virginia instituted "massive resistance" to the ruling that included closing public schools in some counties, the most notorious being Prince Edward County where schools were closed for five years. Even after official resistance finally broke down, resegregation in public education is a reality in many parts of our country, especially in our large cities. Segregation is no longer by law but by economic and social factors that have definite racial implications. Our Cornelius Corps tutors have experienced this reality in our 15 years of tutoring in DC public schools. We honor those who struggled to end legal racial segregation in public education over 60 years ago. We are still called to the struggle for justice and equality in public education, because we believe that all children are God's children and our children.
Take a few minutes to watch the two videos connected to this post. The first looks back to the supreme court decision of May 17, 1954. The second is by educational advocate and writer Jonathan Kozol who reflects on the ongoing struggle and call to educational equality and justice today.