1954. The United States Supreme Court ended the legal idea of "separate
but equal" defined in 1896 by Plessy v. Ferguson. The decision
in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas not only affected segregation
in schools, it can also be argued that it pushed the Civil Rights movement
to the forefront of national discussion.
Fifty years later the impact of the decision is still being felt,
and the discussion is still continuing. Did the legal dismissal of
segregation bring an end to social segregation? How does the debate
over affirmative action look in the context of history? How did this
court case affect individuals fifty years ago, and how does it affect
The Critical Issues Symposium looks at why fifty years later a court
single court decision is still a critical issue. With a combination
of speakers, discussions, films, and performing artists we will not
only learn the history of Brown v. Board, but evaluate its success
and apply its lessons to issues of race today.