Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Brown Today

BOND: Now, looking back it from today's perspective, what has it turned out to mean?

LEE: What it's turned out to mean, of course, is — I think it paved the way for equal opportunity efforts, for the civil rights laws, and for opening up public institutions for African Americans. In looking at the state, however, of our public schools, I don't think I see the kind of commitment to public schools that I know we wanted with Brown v. Board of Education. When you look at the disparities in funding, when you look at the test scores of our young kids and when you look at the types of programs and curriculum, textbooks, teacher salaries — all of those are efforts that are required for stellar excellent public schools for our children you just don't see. And so I think that when I look back at Brown v. Board of Education, I think that this was the opening for many of us to benefit from the opportunities of the civil rights movement, including public education but just reminds us we have a long way to go.