Placed in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, this article analyzes moments in the history of civil rights under slavery and the post-emancipation era, analyzing the role of the judiciary and its connection to questions of access and equality in education. By putting aside the positivist meta-narrative that the United States has experienced a progressive expansion of rights, we see moments when the action of the courts reinforced slavery and racial segegation not just as milestones in the history of racial politics, but also as frustrated efforts by individuals and social movements to expand access to human rights. We also see ways in which the positivist notion of a constant advance of rights has coincided with projects to commemorate, memorialize and romanticize the history of slavery, along with the leading figures associated with slavery and segregation.
- United States
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