How Carnegie Corporation Helped End “Separate But Equal”

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Attorney Thurgood Marshall (center), George E.C. Hayes (left), and James Nabrit, Jr. (right) victors in the 1954 decision. Photo by Corbis

May 17, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. This landmark case is deeply linked to Carnegie Corporation of New York’s history and mission. In 1938, the Corporation enlisted Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal to undertake a two-year landmark study of the condition of African Americans. The resulting book, An American Dilemma, published in 1944, was cited in the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which ended “separate but equal” education for black children; it also served as a moral wake-up call prior to the civil rights movement. Links to publications the Corporation has produced about this work are included below along with links to other sites that help put this event in historical perspective and provide suggestions for related educational activities. You can also learn more about the Corporation’s current grantmaking in the area of voting rights protection.

Carnegie Results: The Lasting Legacy of An American Dilemma [PDF]

Carnegie Results: Promoting Social Justice: A Vision of Philanthropic Activism [PDF]

An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy [PDF]

From the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs: Justice Stephen Breyer argues that the famousBrown v. Board of Education case was a turning point for the Supreme Court

 U.S. Courts Website: A History of Brown v. Board of Education

National Archives Website Document for May 17th: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka