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News and Events:
Dyson Says Work Remains to Fulfill Promise of Brown v. Board of Education
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ASSESSING THE IMPACT of Brown v. Board of Education on its 50th anniversary, Michael Eric Dyson, a nationally known commentator on race relations, hailed the decision as a signifi cant event in the nation’s history, but said it has fallen short of achieving racial equality in schools.

He said suburban and inner-city schools, given funding disparities, continue to be anything but equal. Noting the economic gulf between white and black communities, he said poor schools don’t have second-hand books – much less new ones – or modern computer equipment.

“Can the superinformation highway have an off ramp in the barrio or the hood?” he asked. “We’re trying to get some wire.”

Dyson, the Avalon Professor of Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, was the keynote speaker at a symposium on Race Jurisprudence sponsored by the Journal of Constitutional Law. He offered his thoughts seven months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policy. The symposium also drew legal scholars who discussed the historic desegregation decision and pondered future efforts to achieve racial balance.

Dyson called on the legal profession to end a system of racial preference that benefits the haves and hurts the have-nots. “We understand that affirmative action is not about giving somebody a shot who doesn’t deserve a shot, but you must understand that those who are victimized by the law must be defended by that very law.”

 
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