University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board and the Desegregation of New Orleans Public Schools"
Date 2005
Author Davison M. Douglas
Author Institution College of William and Mary
Author Role Faculty
Abstract The federal court proceedings surrounding the desegregation of New Orleans public schools revealed the difficult and lengthy process of enforcing the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Every desegregation order of the federal courts in Louisiana met with the unflagging resistance of segregationists who were in full control of the state’s government. Despite their uninterrupted legal setbacks, the segregationists in the Louisiana legislature, with the support of the governor, the attorney general, and the state courts, were able to delay enforcement of even the token desegregation that initially resulted from the federal courts’ orders. The strength of the state’s segregationists nearly silenced white moderates in New Orleans. Black leadership in New Orleans largely relied on the efforts of local black lawyers and the legal arm of the NAACP, which offered the services of such respected lawyers as Thurgood Marshall and Robert Carter, to keep pressure on the courts. The segregationist resistance in Louisiana was more intense than in many other struggles over desegregating schools in the South, but the story of the New Orleans school crisis illustrates a range of strategies employed by segregationists and the legal instruments available to federal judges determined to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown.
Source Federal Judicial Center

This Resource Relates To
case Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board (SD-LA-0001)

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