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

By Jean L. Preer | Go to book overview

7 Adams: Racial Identifiability and Black Public Colleges

Thus, Brown was not a repudiation of the racist frame of reference as set forth in the American Constitution which defined a Black man as three-fifths of a man. The reformed racists (or liberals as they are often characterized) are still fundamentally racist because they are unable to see quality education for Blacks except in a racially integrated setting. Thus, their primary interest in Black education is essentially racial rather than educational. They seem to be more committed to promoting Black assimilation than Black education. This explains why today they persist in their program of dismantling Black educational institutions in the face of mounting evidence that many forms of integrated education are more harmful to Blacks than separate education. 1

Black Mississippians' Council on Higher Education Position Paper, Adopted May 10, 1975

Historically, conflicting attitudes toward black public colleges had lodged uncomfortably in the same quarters. W. E. B. Du Bois had pondered the dilemma of asserting both legal rights and black cultural uniqueness and had supported the NAACP's efforts to assure funding for black land-grant colleges. The NAACP's own legal strategy embodied a similar duality: challenging the inherent evil of compulsory racial segregation while seeking the equalization of separate Negro schools. In the late 1960s, however, this traditional ambivalence appeared in the competing positions of NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyers, who pressed for the ultimate implementation of the legal rights established in Brown, and black educators, who feared that the creation of unitary systems of higher education threatened the existence of black colleges and the educational opportunities they provided black stu-

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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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