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Where Do Blacks Stand After Brown?

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.


In the essay titled “The Implementation of Desegregation Plans Since Brown,” William Gordon notes that in exhorting the individual states of the Union to implement Brown II(1955) decision “with all deliberate speed,” the United States Supreme Court set up a semantic paradox that virtually ensured that a speedy and practical solution to this egregious societal bane could not be promptly devised: “The phrase soon took on the mantel of black humor: Blacks, it was noted, wanted ‘speed,’ while whites wanted to be ‘deliberate’” (Gordon 310). Further, Gordon notes that in leaving local governments without any definitive guidelines as to how to proceed with educational desegregation, what ultimately resulted might be aptly termed as COMFORT-LEVEL DESEGREGATION: “Hence, many [school districts] proceeded with the notion that a few assigned or voluntary Black student transfers into formerly all-White schools satisfied the requirements of Brown” (Gordon 311).

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West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

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