Charles Hamilton Houston: “Educational Inequalities Must Go!”

(1935)

In October 1935 Charles Hamilton Houston published “Educational Inequalities Must Go!” in The Crisis, the official publication of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). His purpose was to announce the long-range, carefully orchestrated legal strategy that would culminate with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which held that segregation in public education was unconstitutional. The NAACP had been established in 1909 to fight for equal rights for African Americans. During the first twenty-five years of its operations, it relied on lobbying, demonstrations, and public education to promote its objectives. Litigation was deployed on a case-by-case basis, and some significant victories were won.

In the early 1930s, the NAACP embarked on a dramatic change in direction. The organization’s leaders decided to launch a legal campaign in which court cases would be used systematically to attack segregation....

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Public health service dispensary with segregated waiting rooms (Library of Congress)

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