Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

Brown v. Board of Education

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Clinton High School, Tennessee, 1956

Courtesy of Library of Congress.

A second Brown v. Board of Education decision, known as Brown II, ordered that school integration should be undertaken "with all deliberate speed" but failed to provide specific dates for the change to be implemented. This initial lack of a concrete deadline virtually guaranteed that integration would not proceed smoothly. Many municipalities used the court's vagueness as an excuse to delay integration indefinitely, while others began integrating not long after the ruling was issued. Yet the road to successful integration would be a long one even in districts that implemented the court's order relatively quickly. This photograph from 1956 shows black students attending high school in Clinton, Tennessee, while their white classmates look on. Though the scene here appears peaceful, many black students faced intimidation or violence when attending integrated schools for the first time.

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