The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education: Reflections and Colloquy

Edited by Jack Greenberg and Kendall Thomas

{Twelve Tables Press: 2009}

Summer 2009

In 2004, more than 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education declared school segregation unconstitutional, Columbia Law School hosted a series of meetings that brought together students, judges, attorneys, and activists to discuss the decision’s enduring legacy. Jack Greenberg, the Alphonse Fletcher Professor of Law, and Kendall Thomas, the Nash Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture, have chronicled those discussions in The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education: Reflections and Colloquy.

Among the notable figures present during this 50th anniversary dissection of Brown were President Bill Clinton and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59, as well as several of the lawyers who argued the case in the 1950s, including Constance Motley Baker ’46, Jack Weinstein ’48, and Robert L. Carter ’41 LL.M. Throughout the series of discussions, attendees analyzed the case’s impact on education, criminal law, women’s rights, Hispanics, and the gay and lesbian community.

The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education is a valuable exploration of the most famous ruling of the United States Supreme Court in the 20th century,” said Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard University School of Law. “It is also a historical landmark in its own right, offering to readers a glimpse, sometimes for the last time, of extraordinary attorneys who speak of their memories about and reflections upon the Brown litigation.”