Brownies Historical Context

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Racial Segregation in the United States

In “Brownies” the fictional Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in south suburban Atlanta has only one white student. This is a telling detail, since Atlanta, especially in the inner city, has one of the highest levels of separation between blacks and whites in the southern United States, a segregation that is also reflected in the public schools.

Since 1988, there has been a widespread trend in public schools in the United States towards more segregation. This is a reversal of a trend toward racial integration that began following the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, which ruled that racially segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional because they were inherently unequal. Researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that the years between 1991 and 1994 were marked by the largest movement back toward segregation since the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling. It...

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This section contains 776 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Brownies Study Guide
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