USD School of Law celebrates Brown vs. Board of Education The University of South Dakota joins a host of universities across the nation in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark case Brown vs. Board of Education.
Spearheading the celebration, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) in conjunction with the School of Law will host a panel discussion at Farber Hall at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Brown vs. Board of Education is an historic 1954 United States Supreme Court decision that struck down the doctrine of "separate but equal," and declared school segregation unconstitutional. The Court held that segregation was a denial of equal protection of the laws under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and had no place in public education. The Supreme Court ruled that separate educational facilities were inherently unequal.
Keynote speaker Carl Holmes, a New York attorney who volunteered as a researcher for the NAACP legal team on the Brown case in 1954, will open the USD forum with a presentation titled "Thurgood Marshall: Little Man's Lion." The NAACP attorneys who argued the Brown case included the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, Robert Carter, and Jack Greenberg.�
After the keynote address, there will be remarks by a distinguished panel of speakers made up of professor Ronald Griffin of Washburn University School of Law, who published an article on Brown. Professor David Day, a Constitutional Law professor at The University of South Dakota School of Law, and attorney Carl Holmes. The panelists will discuss the past, current and future impact of the Brown decision on our nation. This open forum will provide dialogue between panelists and the audience.
"Brown vs. Board of Education is a landmark, not only of Supreme Court jurisprudence but of American history," according to Dean Barry R. Vickrey, USD School of Law. "Brown reminds us of both the successes and failures of our society. It was a courageous decision, and yet one that was long overdue. It announced an end to segregation education, but segregated schools, including the one I attended in Tennessee, existed more than a decade after the decision.
"Even now, 50 years later, educational opportunity is not equally available," Vickrey added. So it is fitting that we both celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision and use that anniversary as a reminder of the need to continue the effort to seek equality in education and in all aspects of our society."
The School of Law's National Federalist Society, Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), and Student Bar Association, the Farber Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee are contributors to the "Brown @ 50" campus forum at The University of South Dakota.