Brown V. Board of Education at Fifty: A Rhetorical Retrospective

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Clarke Rountree
Lexington Books, 2004 - 199 ˹
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The story of Brown v. Board of Education is a half-century old now and has been retold many times by historians, legal scholars, sociologists, and others. This collection of persuasive scholarly essays examines, for the first time, the role rhetorical theory played in the development of educational segregation. Contributors consider the NAACP's development of a series of graduate school cases to challenge Plessy, analyze the Brown decision itself, assess the state response to Brown, and critique the two Supreme Court decisions implementing the Brown decision. By illustrating how rhetorical strategies created, sustained, challenged, and, ultimately, reversed educational segregation in the United States, this work demonstrates the real value of the rhetorical perspective and provides encouragement to those who wish to help further develop this emerging field of judicial rhetoric.

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Revisiting the Case of Plessy v Ferguson
1
Dissent as Prophecy Justice John Marshall Harlans Dissent in Plessy v Ferguson as the Religious Rhetoric of Law
23
Setting the Stage for Brown v Board of Education The NAACPs Litigation Campaign against the Separate but Equal Doctrine
49
From Natural to Cultural Inferiority The Symbolic Reconstruction of White Supremacy in Brown v Board of Education
91
The Rhetoric of Virginias Massive Resistance Movement
119
The Supreme Courts Rhetoric of Legitimization
143
Works Cited
171
Cases Cited
187
Index
189
About the Contributors
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Clarke Rountree is Department Chair of Communication Arts at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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