Social Scientists for Social Justice: Making the Case against Segregation

By John P. Jackson Jr. | Go to book overview

10
Committee of Social Science
Consultants

The Supreme Court decision in Brown II may have ended one phase of the NAACP-LDEF’s struggle against segregated education, but it did not end the association of the NAACP-LDEF with the social-scientific community. Throughout 1954, the NAACP-LDEF was struggling to form a Committee of Social Science Consultants (CSSC) within the NAACPLDEF. The CSSC was to be a formal body of social scientists that would aid communities that were starting the desegregation process.

The CSSC, by nearly any measure imaginable, was a failure. Indeed, it was very nearly a committee that did not ever exist. To understand why this was the case is to understand the very real nature of the tension between the role of the neutral and detached social scientist and that of the involved attorney-advocates. By the mid-1950s, the social scientists had recognized that in the new political climate created by the Brown litigation, they could not afford too close an association with the attorneys of the NAACP-LDEF. Kenneth Clark, in particular, was aware of the tension in his association with the attorneys, and this chapter concludes with his final defense of his role in Brown.


Origins of the CSSC

The CSSC originated before the first Brown decision. In January 1954, after the argument and reargument for the first Supreme Court decision, Kenneth Clark and Anna Caples Frank began planning for the creation of a “project on community education.” The first draft of the project argued for widespread adult education in those communities that were facing desegregation. While the draft assumed that the Court

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Social Scientists for Social Justice: Making the Case against Segregation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Part I - Background 15
  • 2 - The Study of Race between the Wars 17
  • 3 - The Effect of World War II on the Study of Racial Prejudice 43
  • Part II - Forging the Alliance 61
  • 4 - The American Jewish Congress 63
  • 5 - Pre-Brown Litigation 79
  • Part III - Brown Litigation 107
  • 6 - Recruiting Expert Witnesses 109
  • 7 - Testimony of the Experts 125
  • 8 - Supreme Court Hearings and Decision, Brown I 153
  • 9 - Supreme Court Hearings and Decision, Brown II 182
  • Part IV - Dissolution 197
  • 10 - Committee of Social Science Consultants 199
  • 11 - Conclusion 213
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 267
  • Index 285
  • About the Author 291
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