Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  IDENTITY

Brown v. Board Discussed at Forum
by Andrew Davis
2005-06-01

This article shared 2537 times since Wed Jun 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


The impact of the seminal civil-rights case Brown v. Board of Education a half-century after its decision was the subject of a forum held at Harold Washington Library on May 14.

The discussion, entitled 'Our Echoing Demands: The Legacies of Brown v. Board Today,' featured a panel that talked about how the case has affected everything from contemporary academic policies to the formation of gay-rights organizations. Panelists included Jon Davidson, legal director of Lambda Legal; Beverly Guy-Sheftall, an English and women's studies professor at Spelman College in Atlanta; and Gary Orfield, a professor of education and social policy at Harvard University. Barbara Ransby, an associate professor of African-American studies and history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, served as moderator.

Brown v. Board of Education, which was initially argued on Dec. 9, 1952 and decided on May 17, 1954, held that segregating white and Black schoolchildren solely on the basis of race violated the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. This 'separate but unequal' doctrine overturned the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which put forth the concept of 'separate but equal.'

Orfield spoke about several issues, including the challenges of continuing the civil-rights movement today and the reason the Brown case is extraordinary. He offered that the Brown decision helped stimulate the government to 'end the apartheid of the South' ˆ but Orfield added that things 'seem to be going backwards fast.' In making his point, Orfield said that the judicial system was important for social progress although other elements are needed to facilitate change, such as social groups. He also talked about how there seems to be a regression that has taken place over the past 15 years, commenting in particular on the conservatism of entities such as the Supreme Court and the increasing segregation taking place in today's schools.

Davidson talked about how Brown helped foment the LGBT -rights movement. He discussed how the forum's subtitle was accurate because of his feeling that the LGBT-rights battle is not the same as the fight that African-Americans have engaged in; for example, he said, gays did not have to deal with slavery or Jim Crow laws. ( Therefore, the LGBT-rights movement has connections, or 'echoes,' of the Blacks' movement. ) Davidson did say that gays and lesbians owe a lot to figures such as Thurgood Marshall and to organizations such as the NAACP, 'which inspired [ groups ] such as Lambda Legal to exist.' Seconding a point Orfield made, Davidson added that the Brown ruling 'was an important acknowledgment that the law and social reality can change and are not frozen in time.' Davidson also felt that Brown helped reveal 'the incredible importance of changing environments for our future generations.' He also maintained that when an institution pushes forth a 'separate but equal' doctrine, it only reinforces the idea that groups are tagged 'with a badge of inequality that the Constitution should not tolerate.' As an example, Davidson pointed to the fact that gays and lesbians are unable to marry in 49 states and his opinion that the problem cannot be solved by instituting civil unions instead. He also mentioned the coincidence of Massachusetts legalizing same-sex marriage on the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision. In noting a link between the civil-rights battles of the Black and LGBT communities, Davidson said that 'all too often, justice delayed is justice denied.'

Guy-Sheftall focused on the influence the Brown case has had on the women's movement, although she started by acknowledging the importance of the works of liberals and progressives. She stated that 'the women's movement is indebted to this historic event in history' ˆ but she added that a lot of women's-rights advocates 'have not come to terms with this fact.' She presented a brief historical civil-rights timeline; among other things, she talked about the link between two prominent 19th-century social aims: ending slavery and establishing women's suffrage rights. In doing so, Guy-Sheftall underscored the constant link that existed between the fights for gender and racial equality. In talking about Brown's impact, she mentioned milestones such as the Equal Pay Act and Roe v. Wade. The outspoken professor also entertained and educated the audience with several well-placed barbs. At one point during the forum, she said that 'diversity doesn't mean equity. Look at the Bush Cabinet; it's the most diverse Cabinet we've ever had.'

The panelists' comments were followed by an interactive question-and-answer session with the audience. One audience member brought up the issue that many Blacks feel that gays and lesbians are simply borrowing their rhetoric. Davidson responded that, among others, the media has fueled the lack of connection that African-Americans have with the LGBT community. 'The media continues to show the LGBT community as white and African-Americans as straight. We need to show that there are LGBT African-Americans,' he said.

The forum was presented by The Illinois Humanities Council ( IHC ) , The Public Square at the IHC, the Harold Washington Library Center, and Lambda Legal.


This article shared 2537 times since Wed Jun 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases new data on the LGBTQ+ wage gap
2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign celebrates advances in LGBTQ+ policies one year into Biden-Harris administration
2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — One day before the one year anniversary of the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) celebrates the advances that have been made in LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+-rights activist Jim Obergefell announces political run
2022-01-18
Jim Obergefell—the LGBTQ+-rights activist and named plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide—announced Jan. 18 that he is launching a bid for the Ohio state House, CNN.com reported. "I took a history-ma ...


Gay News

Chief Judge Evans responds to Mayor Lightfoot's request on electronic monitoring
2022-01-18
-- Press release from Office of the Chief Judge Cook County Circuit Court - Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans responded Jan. 19 to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's request for a moratorium on use of electronic monitoring for defendants accused of certain violent crimes by pointing out the national and state ...


Gay News

Texas' anti-trans youth sports law goes into effect
2022-01-18
A new Texas law bars transgender student athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, Houston Public Media reported. House Bill 25 is one of several laws that went into effect ...


Gay News

Two join races for state office, Personal PAC comments on threats to reproductive rights
2022-01-18
-- From a Personal PAC press release - Chicago, IL — Today, following the news that anti-choice extremists Richard Irvin and Avery Bourne would run as Republicans for governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Personal PAC President and CEO Terry Cosgrove released the following ...


Gay News

Rabbi taken hostage in Texas LGBTQ-friendly synagogue expresses thanks
2022-01-17
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was among the four hostages freed Jan. 15 from a Dallas-area synagogue, said there was "no question" the experience was traumatic, and thanked the community and world for the prayers and love, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Lambda Legal, Penn. city's change, couple on the run, Bayard Rustin
2022-01-16
Lambda Legal filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc. on behalf of a former employee who was fired after they and other Dallas Arboretum ...


Gay News

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund ED urges action on voting rights
2022-01-14
-- From a press release - "The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Voting rights are a cornerstone of our democratic process and ...


Gay News

Plaintiff in historic Florida marriage-equality lawsuit found dead
2022-01-14
In Florida, Jorge Diaz-Johnston was recently found dead in a Jackson County landfill, ABC News reported. Diaz-Johnston, 54, was reported missing on Jan. 3 near his workplace and police are investigating his death as a homicide, ...


Gay News

Pope Francis thanks U.S. nun for advancing LGBTQ+ rights
2022-01-14
In a recent letter to Sister Jeannine Gramick, Pope Francis thanked her for her 50 years of advocacy and ministry to LGBTQ+ Catholics, The Hill reported. The pope in his letter, dated Dec. 10, said Gramick ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Veronica Drake
2022-01-13
Veronica Drake—a onetime Chicago resident and longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist—recently passed away in October. She was 58. She last resided in Florida. According to an obituary at Marvin C. Zanders Funeral Home, Inc., Drake was born Sept. 15 ...


Gay News

French gay and bisexual men can donate blood starting March 16
2022-01-13
Starting in March, gay and bisexual French men will no longer be restricted from donating blood, The Hill reported. "We are ending an inequality that was no longer justified," French Minister for Solidarity and Health Olivier ...


Gay News

Minneapolis City Councilor Andrea Jenkins elected City Council President
2022-01-10
—From an HRC press release - MINNEAPOLIS — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) congratulates Andrea Jenkins, a Minneapolis City Councilor and Human Rights Campaign board member, on her election to the role of City Council President. Jenkins, who became the first ...


Gay News

Lightfoot announces director for new public-safety commission
2022-01-10
On Jan. 10, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that Adam Gross will be the first-ever executive director of the newly created Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability. "The establishment of a community-led Commission for oversight ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.