1955 May 31

“All Deliberate Speed:” Implementing “Brown v. Board of Education”


The Supreme Court, in what came to be called Brown II, ruled on the process for implementing school desegregation pursuant to Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954). The Court remanded implementation to the federal District Courts, allowing them to take into account local conditions and administrative problems involved in desegregation. The Court held that desegregation should proceed with “all deliberate speed.” In practice, it proved to be painfully slow. The first Mississippi public schools, for example, were not integrated until the fall of 1965.

The Court: “The cases are remanded to the District Courts to take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with this opinion as are necessary and proper to admit to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed the parties to these cases.” [Emphasis added]

Learn more: James T. Patterson, Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and its Troubled Legacy (2001)

Watch historian John Hope Franklin discuss his research for Brown v. Board of Education: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfro166MZvc

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