Revisiting Brown VS. Board of Education

We are used to thinking about the Civil Rights movement from the perspective of African American students who were on the front lines of the battles to desegregate schools (people like the Elizabeth Eckford (Links to an external site.), Ruby Bridges (Links to an external site.), Charlayne Hunter-Gault (Links to an external site.), and James Meredith (Links to an external site.)). But what happens when we try to tell this story from the point of view of African American teachers? That’s the provocative question that Malcolm Gladwell asks in an episode of his podcast Revisionist History called “Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment.”  (Links to an external site.) Gladwell is a journalist who writes extensively about topics in history and the social social sciences. The purpose of his podcast, as he describes it, is to revisit topics in history that have been overlooked or misunderstood.
For this week’s reading response, I would like you to download and listen to this podcast (it is about 30 minutes long) and then respond to the following prompt:

How does the story of teachers like Darla Buchanan change your view of the legacies of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka? What does this tell us about the process of desegregation in the late 1950s and early 60s? What did courts misunderstand about the structures and mechanisms of inequality in American society? How might this process have played out differently? 

The Podcast is on Spotify Or Apple Podcasts for Free.