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Business as Usual? Brown and the Continuing Conundrum of Race in America

Posted: 1 Nov 2004  

Robert S. Chang

Seattle University School of Law

Jerome Culp

Duke Law School


In this article, Professors Robert Chang and Jerome Culp examine the state of race in America in the aftermath of the landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education, focusing on the ten-year window preceding its fiftieth anniversary. Their findings reveal that while Brown established fundamental precedent in the area of race relations, racial inequality remains entrenched in a number of modern social institutions. Chang and Culp analyze this dilemma by focusing on three distinct trends. First, a cycle of inequality is driven by racial disparities in wealth and perpetuated by interlocking systems of education, housing, family, healthcare, employment, and criminal justice. Second, civil rights activists often fall short of their goals following Brown due to what the authors describe as civil rights myopias. Finally, racial remediation schemes also face major obstacles as White identity has intensified since Brown. As a result, little has changed in the ten-year window preceding Brown's fiftieth anniversary and racial inequality remains a persistent problem in America.

Suggested Citation

Chang, Robert S. and Culp, Jerome, Business as Usual? Brown and the Continuing Conundrum of Race in America. University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 24. Available at SSRN:

Robert S. Chang (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

Jerome McCristal Culp

Duke Law School ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7097 (Phone)
919-613-7231 (Fax)

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