Office: Seminar II - E4104
Office Hours: Tues. 10 - 12 a.m.
|Mail Stop (until April 19): COM
Mail Stop (after April 19) SEM II -A2117
May 17, 2004 marks the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, arguably the most important ruling of the Supreme Court in the 20th Century. Declaring racially segregated schools as inherently unequal, the Court signaled a reversal of judicial support for apartheid, deeply rooted in America’s colonial foundation and elevated as national doctrine in the abominable "separate but equal" opinion of 1896.
Brown’s repudiation of Plessy v. Ferguson was seismic. Much more than an historical and constitutional watershed, the 1954 decision was a cultural shift that challenged habits, customs, traditions and way of life, North and South. Just as significantly, it helped to invigorate a century-old civil rights movement and to make progress beyond the schools--in housing, voting, transportation and public accommodations.
By the end of the 20th Century, however, the nation appeared to have second thoughts about Brown. Racist opposition to African American progress and the resurgence of conservatism in all branches of government barricaded the road to desegregation. Justices with leanings closer to Plessy than to the Warren Court largely turned their backs on the spirit of Brown.
In this program, we will study the historical backdrop of Brown, the legal battle leading up to it, and its 50-year aftermath.
Credit will be awarded in African American studies, constitutional law, racism and the law, sociology, critical reasoning and writing (and possibly other areas that reflect project accomplishments).
|LECTURE & CASE ANALYSIS
10:00 - 12:00
Sem II - E1105
8:00 - 10:00
Sem II - E1107
|LECTURE & CASE ANALYSIS
10:00 - 12:00
Sem II - E1105
1:00 - 3:00
Sem II - E3107
|FILM SERIES & SEMINAR
10:00 - 1:00
Sem II - E3107
3:00 - 5:00
Sem II - E3107
Michael J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality (Oxford University Press, January 2004), ISBN: 0195129032
Robert J. Cottrol, Raymond T. Diamond, Leland B. Ware, Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution (University Press of Kansas, October 2003), ISBN: 0700612890
Melba Pattillo Beals, Warriors Don't Cry (Washington Square Press; reprint edition, February 1, 1995), ISBN: 0671866397
Peter Irons, Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision (Penguin USA; reprint edition, January 27, 2004), ISBN: 0142003751
Black Issues in Higher Education (Author), The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v. Board of Education (John Wiley & Sons; (April 16, 2004), ISBN: 0471649260
Derrick A. Bell, Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform (Oxford University Press, April 2004), ISBN: 0195172728
Jack M. Balkin (Editor), What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision (New York University Press, September 2002), ISBN: 081479890X
Gary Orfield and Chungmei Lee, "Brown At 50: King’s Dream or
Plessy’s Nightmare?" (A study conducted by The Civil Rights Project, Harvard
University, January 17, 2004, available online as a PDF file: http://www.civilrightsproject.harvard.edu/research/reseg04/brown50.pdf)
Reading. Critical and conscientious reading is the foundation of this program. Our assigned texts together constitute a rich fund of knowledge and raise significant legal, social, political and historical questions about race, caste and culture in the United States. Of course, Brown v. Board of Education is the focal point of our academic inquiry. All readings are required. Each student is required to have a copy of the books.
Writing. There will be four types of writing in this program: a weekly response paper due before seminar on Mondays (see below for instructions), critical comments and responses in connection with the asynchronous online seminar, case briefs, and various types of writing for the special project(s) regarding Brown v. Board of Education.
2) Case Briefs. You will be required to maintain a notebook in which you "brief" each major case we read. "Brief" here does not mean a lengthy writing as in a legal brief. To brief a case means to succinctly summarize each of the following, preferably using one or two sentences for each: What are the bare facts that gave rise to the case or controversy? What is the issue (legal question) involved? What was the holding (decision) of the court? What was its rationale? You will receive instruction on how to do a case brief.
3) Critical Comments and Responses for the Online Seminar. On the program's Web Crossing site, accessible through the home page, you will be required to post a substantive comment about the reading for the Friday seminar. There are no restrictions on the content of this "critical comment" except that it must be substantive. Perhaps it is a new insight you garnered from the reading. Maybe it is a critique on some point made by the authors. Or perhaps it is an alternative view from either of those presented. The idea is that you should contribute something substantive to the critical dialogue we want to have about the issues. While quality, rather than number of words, is the goal in these critical comments, they should be about 200 to 250 words in length, on average. You will be required to read your classmates’ critical comments on each set of readings and to post at least two comments in response to something they have stated. There is no average word length for responses, but they, too, should be substantive. In other words, they should not be mere statements of agreement or disagreement. There will be a deadline for posting critical comments and responses. These will be negotiated between students and faculty.
4) Project-Related Writing. There will be various types of writing related to the class project(s). The type and scope of the project(s) will determine when such writing must be turned in. This will be negotiated between students and faculty.
Seminar. In weekly face-to-face and online seminars, students will meet together for discussion and analysis of the readings and other program content and themes. Adequate and enthusiastic seminar preparation and participation will be indispensable to student success in this program. Students will be expected to explore in depth the numerous issues that the readings will raise. Early in the quarter, you will receive specific technical instruction on how to use Web Crossing, the medium we will use to post critical comments and responses for the online seminar.
Film Viewing and In-Class Analysis. A film series will draw on the wealth of primarily historical, legal, political and cultural documentaries related to the program theme and reading (Jim Crow, segregation, the Brown case and the civil rights movement). The films will be valuable in providing detail, supplement historical information, and visual context for the analytic themes presented in the program curriculum.
Special Project(s). Projects will be related to the dramatization
of legal history prior to Brown, the legal battles leading up to
it, the Supreme Court's deliberations on the case, and the 50-year
aftermath. A focal point of the dramatization will be the re-enactment
of oral arguments in the United States Supreme Court. The exact scope of
the project(s) will be determined by the students.
Friday, April 2: M. J. Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, Chapter 1 (The Plessy Era)
Monday, April 5: Klarman, Chapter 2 (The Progressive Era)
Friday, April 9: Klarman, Chapter 3 (The Interwar Period)
Monday, April 12: Klarman, Chapter 4 (World War II Era: Context and Cases)
Friday, April 16: Klarman, Chapter 5 (World War II Era: Consequences)
Monday, April 19: Klarman, Chapter 6 (School Desegregation)
Friday, April 23: Klarman, Chapter 7 (Brown and the Civil Rights Movement) and Conclusion
Monday, April 26: Melba Pattillo Beals, Warriors Don't Cry (entire book)
Friday, April 30: Robert J. Cottrol et al., Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture & the Constitution, Introduction and Chapters 1 - 6, pp. 1-150
Monday, May 3: Cottrol et al., Chapters 7 - 9 and Epilogue, pp. 151-243.
Friday, May 7: Peter Irons, Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision, Preface (pp. ix-xix) and Chapters 1 - 9 (pp. 1-171).
Monday, May 10: Irons, Chapters 10 - 16 and Conclusion, pp. 172 - 347.
Friday, May 14: Derrick Bell, Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform, Introduction and Chapters 1 - 9 (pp. 1-93).
Monday, May 10: Peter Irons keynote address, North Thurston High School Auditorium, 7 - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 11: Post-seminar meet-the-author conference with Peter Irons, exact time TBA, but it will be around noon
Wednesday, May 12: "The Search for Equality: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?" Community Discussion at the North Thurston High School Gymnasium, 7 - 9:00 p.m.
On various days throughout the week and weekend: attend at least two film festival screenings.
During the week-long commemoration, there will also be many opportunities for students to be involved. Help will be needed in many areas.
Monday, May 24: Jack M. Balkin et al., What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision, Preface and pp. 1-91
Friday, May 28: Balkin, pp. 92-213.
Tuesday, June 1 - Friday, June 4: No reading assigned. Rehearsals and Project Presentations. Note: Monday, May 31 is Memorial Day, a campus holiday.
Note: The Supreme Court cases you will read are not listed above. These will given to you on a week-to-week basis. If time permits for the instructor to select and edit the relevant cases early in the quarter, they will be listed in the reading above, and a revised Required Reading list will be given to you.