Crosses to Bear and Promises to Keep: The Jubilee Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article examines a decade or more of scholarly and popular writings that blame the persistence of racial inequality in educational performance primarily, if not exclusively, on the cultural inheritance of African Americans. This article focuses in part on the ways in which contemporary rationales for educational inequality are linked to a legacy of blaming racial subordination on African American personality traits and cultural norms. Furthermore, this legacy of "victim blaming" and its distortions of the African American past are considered in the context of the historical scholarship on education and cultural values in the African American experience. Finally, this article shows how unfounded assumptions about African American culture lead to day-to-day contempt and pity for the intellect and character of African American schoolchildren, giving them a heavy cross to bear on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-373
Number of pages15
JournalUrban Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Achievement
  • Culture
  • Desegregation
  • History
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Crosses to Bear and Promises to Keep: The Jubilee Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this