On Wednesday I moderated a WHYY forum featuring a panel of black scholars talking about Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer who fought Jim Crow head on, eventually winning Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas, the U.S. Supreme Court case which desegregated schools—in theory, at least.
While I was moderating that forum, which traced the real life drama of education and race in America, another spectacle played out less than five miles from where I was speaking.
Just as in the time of Thurgood Marshall, impoverished black children were caught in a struggle between the haves and the have-nots. And just as in the time of Thurgood Marshall, powerful interests were jealously guarding their advantage.
But this was not a clapboard schoolhouse in backwoods Mississippi. This was the headquarters of the Philadelphia School District, where the School Reform Commission (SRC) was about to approve 5 of 39 new charter school applications.
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Photo: A Philadelphia teacher protests budget cuts during a 2013 rally outside School District Headquarters (Photo by Solomon Jones)
Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.