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

By Jean L. Preer | Go to book overview

We should declare a moratorium on the crescendo of criticism of Black education which began in the 1940's and which reaches new heights daily. Remember, when we join the criticism of Black education, that it was always financed with a bargain- basement mentality. Control always remained in the white power structure, with no real commitment to the education of Blacks. Remember that out of that background--we have traveled this far. 161

The irony was that the legal campaign that had secured new legal rights had also emphasized the inferiority of Negro education. The Sweatt decision epitomized the dangers of reaching the right result for the wrong reasons. The unanimous opinion reflected the same kind of compromise that characterized the NAACP's legal strategy, settling for a short-term tangible gain in opportunity at the expense of a long-range confusion of principle. Sweatt produced important results in the admission of Negroes to graduate and professional programs; it provided the framework for arguments in the public school cases. It also proved an uncertain and unpredictable precedent. Like Gaines and Sipuel, it was as much a reaffirmation of the separate-butequal doctrine as a means to achieve new educational opportunities. Its emphasis on arguments of educational substance complicated the legal issue and left no room for the positive educational role of black public colleges.


Notes
1.
"Texas University Enrolls 2 Negroes," New York Times, 8 June 1950, p. 21.
2.
Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 ( 1950).
3.
Johnson v. Board of Trustees of University of Kentucky, 83 F. Supp. 707 (E.D. Ky. 1949).
4.
Sipuel v. Board of Regents, 332 U.S. 631 ( 1948).
5.
Maurice F. Seay, "Facing the Issue in Racial Discrimination," School Review 59 ( May 1951): 252.
6.
Ibid.
7.
83 F. Supp. at 709.
8.
Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 ( 1938).
9.
Seay, "Facing the Issue," pp. 254-55.
10.
Rufus B. Atwood, "The Public Negro College in a Racially Integrated System of Higher Education," Journal of Negro Education 21 (Summer 1952): 355.
11.
Woodrow M. Stricker and William Wallace Jr., "What are the Implications of the Supreme Court Action on Desegregation of All Types of Colleges and for Professional Organizations?" Current Issues in Higher Education ( 1955): 60.
12.
Atwood, "The Public Negro College," p. 358.
13.
"The Appeal of the Louisville Municipal College Faculty to the Board of Trustees," Journal of Negro Education 20 (Spring 1951): 241.
14.
Atwood, "The Public Negro College," p. 358.
15.
Oliver C. Cox, "Vested Interests Involved in the Integration of Schools for Negroes," Journal of Negro Education 20 (Winter 1951): 113.
16.
Atwood, "The Public Negro College," p. 358.

-121-

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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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