Committee of Social Science
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.
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