Brown v. Board of Education


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This guide is designed to help you research information about the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. It includes an index of scholarly sources that can be used, as well as a list of websites that may be helpful in your research. If you have any trouble finding these sources, please ask a librarian for help.
  • RCC Library Home Page: Most materials found in this research guide are available at the library's home page.
  • Reference Desk: Please contact the library if you have any questions concerning this guide or research.


Books

Books


The on-line catalog provides access to the Library's collection of approximately 40,000 books, periodicals and audio-visual titles. These resources may be used to find information for assignments or general interest. The library holds many books about Brown v. Board of Education, some of which are listed below.

Tutorial for searching catalog and ordering books from Metro Boston Library Network (includes Boston Public Library)

Good search terms to use

  • United State Supreme Court
  • Civil Rights
  • Segregation
  • Desegregation
  • "Separate but equal"
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

Reference Books


Atlases


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Ciment, James. Atlas of African American History. New York: Facts on File, 2001. Print.
Call Number: REF E185 .C55 2001

Encyclopedias


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Appiah, Kwame Anthony and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds. Africana: Civil Rights: An A-to-Z reference of the movement that changed America. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2004. Print.
Call Number: REF E185.61 .A37 2004X

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Salzman, Jack, David Lionel Smith, and Cornel West, eds. Encyclopedia of African American culture and history. New York: Macmillan Library Reference, 1996. Print.
Call Number: REF E185 .E54 1996 (5 volumes)

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Finkelman, Paul, ed. Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present: from the age of segregation to the twenty-first century. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
Call Number: REF E185 .E5453 2009 (5 volumes)

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Bradley, David and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, eds. Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America. Armonk: Sharpe Reference, 1998. Print.
Call Number: REF E185.61 .E544 1998 (3 volumes)

Electronic Books


Ebrary
The library has recently added 20,000 online books from the vendor Ebrary. This is the “community college” collection, of interest to students and faculty at 2-year colleges. All books are simultaneously available to all RCC users. Ebrary has numerous books about Brown v. Board, including the below books.

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What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Case
Balkin, Jack M., ed. What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said: The nation's top legal experts rewrite America's landmark civil rights case. New York: New York University Press, 2001. Web.



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Science for Segregation: Race, Law, and the Case Against Brown v. Board of Education
Jackson, John P., Jr. Science for Segregation: Race, law, and the case against Brown v. Board of Education. New York: New York University Press, 2005. Web.



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Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy
Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education: A civil rights milestone and its troubled legacy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Web.


Circulating Books


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Rury, John L. The African American Struggle for Secondary Education, 1940-1980: Closing the graduation gap. New York: Teachers College Press, 2012. Print.
Call Number: LC2717 .R87 2012
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Davis, Thomas J., Plessy v. Ferguson: Race and inequality in Jim Crow America. Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2012.
Call Number: KF223.P56 D38 2012
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Ogletree, Charles J., Jr. All deliberate speed: reflections on the first half-century of Brown v. Board of Education. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2004. Print.
Call Number: KF4757 .O35 2004

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Walker, Anders. The ghost of Jim Crow: how Southern moderates used Brown v. Board of Education to stall civil rights. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
Call Number: E185.61 .W17 2009


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Norton, James Oliver. Landmarks of African American history. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
Call Number: E185 .H6444 2005


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Bell, Derrick. Silent covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the unfulfilled hopes for racial reform. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.
Call Number: KF4155 .B38 2004
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Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: the history of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's struggle for equality. New York: Vintage Books, 2004. Print.
Call Number: KF4155 .K55 2004b
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Irons, Peter H. Jim Crow's Children: The broken promise of the Brown decision. New York: Penguin Books, 2004. Print.
Call Number: KF4155 .I758 2004

Articles

Access to millions of journal, magazine, newspaper and reference source articles through our research databases.

Academic OneFile

Academic OneFile is the premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources. You can find over 2,000 entries on the topic of the Brown v. Board of Education, including journal and magazine articles, books, podcasts, and videos.

African American Experience

This database includes articles, images, and primary source documents dealing with Brown v. Board of Education.

American History Online

American History Online has a Brown v. Board of Education topic page that includes the Supreme Court's ruling.

Credo Reference

Through the Credo Reference database, RCC students can gain access to any of a possible 2,977,685 entries, including articles, books, news items, videos, and images. It contains over 800 entries about Brown v. Board of Education, including encyclopedia articles, quotations, and biographies of leading figures in the case.

Issues and Controversies in American History

This database includes nearly 100 articles on Brown v. Board of Education, including a detailed time line of the events leading up to the case.

US History in Context

US History in Context provides integrated access to over 4,000 historical documents, articles from more than 30 reference titles, and over 110 full-text journal covering themes, events, individuals and periods in U.S. history from pre-Colonial times to the present. This database has a Brown v. Board of Education topic page that includes reference, magazine, news, and academic articles, primary sources, videos, audio clips, and photographs.


Streaming Videos

Films On Demand offers full length and segment videos on a wide range of topics. They offer a number of videos which discuss Brown v. Board of Education, some of which are listed below.

Films On Demand


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Black/White & Brown: Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka (88 minutes)
This program connects viewers with the people, places, events, and ideas that shaped the landmark civil rights case. Interviewees include Cheryl Brown Henderson, daughter of lead plaintiff Oliver Brown; Zelma Henderson, who, until her death in 2008, was the only surviving Brown plaintiff; and the children of other plaintiffs, attorneys, and activists. Civil rights leader Roger Wilkins and other scholars provide additional expertise on the roles played by the NAACP and the U.S. Justice Department.

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Integration and Busing: Complying with Brown in 1957 (31 minutes)
In 1957, the eyes of America were on Little Rock, where the compulsory desegregation of Central High School was front-page news. But what about the broader picture? How successful had integration efforts in the South been in the three years following the Brown decision? This program, filmed in that year, brings together a panel of newsmen from the Southern Education Reporting Service to assess—against the backdrop of anti-integration violence—the overall progress being made in complying with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

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Save Our History: Voices of Civil Rights (45 minutes)
Representing the largest archive of oral histories of the Civil Rights Movement, this program offers a look at one of the defining social movements in American history—told through the personal stories of men, women, and children who lived through the turbulent period. To compile these hundreds of personal narratives, a group of journalists, photographers, and videographers embarked on a 70-day bus trip around the country. The trove of material they collected, from family photographs to emotional on-camera testimony, forms far more than a textbook history lesson. It emerges as a narrative document that defines and humanizes the movement’s trajectory while providing insight into the Brown v. Board of Education case, the saga of Martin Luther King, Jr., and more.

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A Struggle for Educational Equality: 1950-1980 (55 minutes)
This program shows how impressive gains masked profound inequalities: seventeen states had segregated schools; 1% of all Ph.D.s went to women; and "separate but equal" was still the law of the land. Interviews with Linda Brown Thompson and other equal rights pioneers bring to life the issues that prompted such milestones as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title IX, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Web sites

There are many good web sites on the internet that provide information about Brown v. Board of Education. These web sites have been evaluated by library staff. Remember to always evaluate internet resources. To find out more about evaluating web sites, Cornell University has a very good guide.



Citing Sources: Style Guides


APA Style Tutorial
Laguardia Community College Library MLA and APA citation style
The Owl at Purdue: APA Formatting and Style Guide
The Owl at Purdue: MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide


Basic Research Help

Please click the Ask a Librarian icon if you have any questions concerning these guides, need help finding material for your research or any general questions you might have.
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General Library Information


Research guide prepared on November 9, 2011 by Autumn Haag: ahaag@rcc.mass.edu; updated on March 26, 2014 by Katie Bliss.