To What Extent Was The Brown Decision A Turning Point In The Civil Rights Movement Essay

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To what extent was the Brown decision a turning point in the Civil Rights movement?
Some historians have disparaged the Brown ruling, arguing that it had little substance and little effect but despite this Brown is still one of the most written-about and analyzed Supreme Court decisions in the history of the United States. It is clear however that without support from the president and the Congress that the decision meant little; moreover, it placed the entire burden of securing implementation upon the shoulders of vulnerable black plaintiffs. Brown “resembled nothing more than an order for the infantry to assault segregation without prospect of air and artillery support”, writes J. Harvie Wilkinson. It took at least ten years before even token integration occurred in the South and at least fifteen until Mississippi and other states deeper South took this decision seriously suggesting that the ruling had no immediate substantial impact. The court backed away from even the weak pronouncements of Brown II, as a result of being faced with white intransigence and between 1955 and 1968, writes Wilkinson, “The court abandoned the field of public school desegregation. Its pronouncements were few.... and its leadership was almost nonexistent.” Even Eisenhower privately disapproved of Brown and Congress did absolutely nothing to enforce it. Moreover, when the white South attacked the NAACP, the federal government, with the laudable exception of a few federal…