Brown and the Contemporary Brazilian Struggle Against Racial Inequality: Some Preliminary Comparative Thoughts

Robert J. Cottrol


We are told by both ancient scripture and popular song that there is a time for every purpose under Heaven. Last year, 2004, was the occasion to reflect on the fiftieth anniversary of what I would submit was the most important thing the United States Supreme Court has ever done—render its decision in Brown v. Board of Education. As a nation we have spent the past year doing this, and on the whole I think it should be said doing this rather well. There have been numerous symposia and conferences devoted to the 1954 desegregation decision. There have been panels at academic conferences devoted to the topic. News programs and interviews with surviving participants have already taken place and will likely continue into 2005, as we contemplate the fiftieth anniversary of Brown II. The fiftieth anniversary has been the occasion for the publication of a number of books on the case, including one that I have co-authored. More are sure to follow.

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