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View Diary: May 17, 1954 and 1958: Brown v. Board, and my father's birthday (25 comments)

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  •  Brown and me (0+ / 0-)

    I was born a month earlier than the diarist father but black. Just two years before, my mother, a college graduate, was accepted on merits the University of Maryland graduate school. Except Maryland did not have a graduate school for blacks. Instead, they offered to pay her tuition to Spelman (a HBCU) in Atlanta. Not a tough choice huh? 1950's America, a married woman (let alone a black woman) that was no choice at all. My father, a WWII vet, faced the racism of bureaucracy in trying to claim his GI Benefits. So the vignette you give may not be off the mark so much as I can tell you from real life what Brown meant and what the obstacles that black Americans faced, who played the game by the rules, had to endure. My mother also knew Latin, the World Book encyclopedia was my bedtime reading. I have heard it said that Brown was the launching point for those blacks ready to take full advantage of it. This I believe is true. I was fortunate enough to have educated, ambitous parents who could avail me and my brothers the opportunities that Brown could make possible. I truly believe that Brown is the genesis of the great divide in the great monolith that is mythological black community: the underclass and the middle class.

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