Lawyers v. Educators: Black Colleges and Desegregation in Public Higher Education

By Jean L. Preer | Go to book overview

The racial composition of higher education lies at the end of a chain reaction of economic, educational, and social factors. HEW's 1977 criteria went a long way in requiring affirmative measures to maximize the educational choices of black students and to enhance the educational offerings of black colleges. But the fulfillment of desegregation goals is still subject to changing economic winds, political currents, and national moods. It was against such shifting tides that the black public college has always stood. It is important to recall the distinction between legal right and those factors that determine the extent to which that right may be enjoyed. The higher education cases suggest the dangers of reaching the right conclusion for the wrong reason. Both the inferiority of Negro schools and the persistence of racial identifiability in higher education were symptomatic of more fundamental problems that the end of legal segregation did not necessarily solve. By redirecting the attention of courts and administrators from manifestations of racial separation to the basic issue of access, and from the inferiority of separate schools to the value of enhanced black institutions, black educators located the common ground between the requirement of the law and the central concern of educational policy.


Notes
1.
Juan Williams, "D.C. Youth Told to Use Rights Gained," Washington Post, 18 May 1979, p. A19.
2.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 ( 1954), ( Brown I).
3.
Adams v. Richardson, 356 F. Supp. 92 (D.C. D.C. 1973), modified, 480 F. 2d 1159 (D.C. Cir. 1973).
4.
Cumming v. Board of Education, 175 U.S. 528 ( 1899).
5.
McCabe v. Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe Ry., 235 U.S. 151 ( 1914).
6.
Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 ( 1938).
7.
Fisher v. Hurst, 333 U.S. 147 ( 1948). Fisher was Miss Sipuel's married name.
8.
Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 ( 1950).
9.
Floridaex rel. Hawkins v. Board of Control, 47 So. 2d 608 ( Fla. 1950), 53 So. 2d 116 ( Fla. 1951), cert. denied, 342 U.S. 877 ( 1951), 60 So. 2d 162 ( 1952), cert. granted, vacated, 347 U.S. 971 ( 1954), 83 So. 2d 20 ( Fla. 1955), cert. denied, 350 U.S. 413 ( 1956).
10.
McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 ( 1950).
11.
Green v. County School Board of New Kent Co., 391 U.S. 430 ( 1968).
12.
Plaintiffs' Motion for Order Requiring Improvement of Higher Education Criteria, December 22, 1977, Adams v. Califano, Civil Action No. 3095-70.
13.
Edward C. Burks, "5 Black College Officials Oppose Integration Order," New York Times, 5 February 1979, p. A12.
14.
Telephone conversation with Pauli Murray, Washington, D.C., 3 January 1980.
15.
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 ( 1896).
16.
Charles H. Houston, "Future Policies and Practices Which Should Govern the Relationship of the Federal Government to Negro Separate Schools," Journal of Negro Education 7 ( July 1938): 460-62.

-241-

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Lawyers v. Educators: Black Colleges and Desegregation in Public Higher Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in American Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - The Morrill Act of 1890: Separate Black Public Colleges 5
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Gaines: Equal Access or Equal Opportunity? 31
  • Notes 56
  • 3 - Sipuel: Arguments in Transition 63
  • Notes 88
  • 4 - Sweatt: Dubious Precedent 95
  • Notes 121
  • 5 - Hawkins: Conditions That Now Prevail 127
  • Notes 152
  • 6 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964: from Segregation to Discrimination 157
  • Notes 183
  • 7 - Adams: Racial Identifiability and Black Public Colleges 189
  • Notes 222
  • Conclusion 233
  • Notes 241
  • List of Cases and Statutes 243
  • Bibliography 247
  • Index 271
  • About the Author 279
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