Randall W. Morrison,

I was about 9 months old in 1954 when the United States Supreme Court made its landmark decision in the Brown v Board of Education case. Almost a century had passed since Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the Declaration of Emancipation in 1862 outlawing slavery, stating, in part, that the government will henceforth “recognize and uphold the freedom of such persons and will not take any acts or acts to oppress such persons or any of them, in every endeavor that they can do for their actual freedom. “However, this” real “freedom came about slowly.

After years of judging by federal and regional courts, the Supreme Court of our country finally ruled in 1954 that state segregation laws in public schools were unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court added that even if the schools were different

With the same quality, the segregation of students by race was still a violation of the equality clause of the constitution. (The truth, however, was the fact that black schools were seldom, if ever, of the same quality).

The Supreme Court then decided in the next few months on an overall plan for how school integration should be implemented. Chief Justice Earl Warren directed states to begin the process of integrating public schools “at all conscious speeds,” but the movement in that direction has been slow. The civil rights movement would encourage a faster determination not only to integrate public schools but to insist on equality in all areas of American society in the 1960s.

The civil rights movement initially helped promote the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public institutions, and made discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, or gender illegal national Origin. This was followed by the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to protect the voting rights of minorities and prevent laws that would discriminate against minority voters. Ultimately, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act, would provide equal housing regardless of race, creed, or national origin. Even so, enforcement of all these laws and the judicial decisions upholding them should be laboriously continued. Tullahoma would build what was touted locally as a “Million Dollar” high school about 5 years after the Brown decision, but black students in Tullahoma did not enjoy the facility until years later. Until then, black students had to attend school in the CD postage “complex”, which at the time looked more like an excess army facility relocated from nearby Camp Forrest than a school building.

I myself would not see the integration of public schools in the Tullahoma

City School System through my 7th grade at East Junior High. That was more

than a decade after the Brown decision in 1954 and more than 100 years after that

the declaration of emancipation.

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