Today marks the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.This unanimous decision overturned and prohibited future state-supported racial discrimination by declaring that racial segregation in U.S. public schools expressly violated the equal protection guarantees provided by the 14th Amendment.
Americans owe a great debt of gratitude to Oliver Brown who bravely challenged the law and practice of racial segregation so that he could send his child to their local public school. Today we all celebrate Brown’s historic civil-rights milestone that has brought us closer together by declaring that separate is inherently unequal.
Although we have come so far since the “Brown” landmark decision, we must remain ever vigilant and do more to ensure equal access to the American Dream. Only through education can our youth transcend the bonds of poverty and race. While we have fought hard for equal opportunities, not all opportunities are equal today. Equality in education is still not America’s reality. In our public schools today, disparities in attendance, achievement and graduation rates reveal that much more needs to be done to ensure that our children and teachers are equipped to succeed and inspired to achieve their dreams.
Unfortunately, we can trace these disparities along racial and economic divides. They are stark reminders that we still have a long way to go to achieve the equality Oliver Brown fought so hard for.
Together we must continue our efforts and identify, assess and close the achievement gap and improve academic opportunities for all our children. As a community we must fight to provide equal academic environments that nurture the natural curiosity and channel the high energy of our children. We can all transcend the dark legacy of our past by coming together to support the next generation by promoting public schools that encourage children to dream, incentivize performance and inspire a desire to learn and achieve. Let’s keep moving forward together.
Micah Edmond is a candidate for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District.