Brown v. Board of
SPECIAL TO THE ARIZONA
Monday will mark the 50th
anniversary of a unanimous Supreme Court
decision that the part of the Constitution
guaranteeing "equal protection of the laws"
meant equal treatment for blacks and whites.
"Separate educational facilities
are inherently unequal," the court ruled
unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education.
The ruling, just a few pages
long, has since provided the foundation for
civil rights issues such as housing, jobs and
voting rights, and echoes within later decisions
advancing rights for women and people with
Tucson got a head start in 1951
when Superintendent Robert D. Morrow placed
black teachers in schools throughout what is now
the Tucson Unified School District and allowed
black students to attend all-white schools.
But by the mid-1970s, TUSD was
the target of a federal lawsuit brought by black
and Hispanic plaintiffs over segregation and
access to education.
As a result, TUSD buses students
from some neighborhoods to schools across town
and has a desegregation budget of roughly $60
million to support extra teachers and programs
at 28 schools.
A federal judge last week ordered
all sides to take the first step toward closing
the case by figuring out a way to determine if
TUSD has reached its desegregation goals and, if
it hasn't, when it will.
The stories linked to on the
right side of this page are told by the subjects
in their own words.