Reassessing Hannah Arendt's 'Reflections on Little Rock' 1959
Law, Culture and the Humanities, Forthcoming
Posted: 2 Mar 2007 Last revised: 29 Mar 2012
Date Written: August 26, 2011
In 1959, Hannah Arendt published an essay in Dissent where she criticized the school integration movement. Ever since, the essay has been understood as an anomaly in her work and an affront to the school integration movement that followed Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Rather than being dismissed, this article suggests that Arendt’s “Reflections on Little Rock” should be read alongside Arendt’s contemporaneous works and appreciated for bringing up a topic that was central to Brown. It argues that Arendt’s “Reflections,” like the Brown opinion, was largely concerned with improving black children’s childhoods and that this point brought to light a broader concern for children’s childhoods that preoccupied Arendt deeply in the late 1950s.
Keywords: Brown v. Board of Education, Hannah Arendt, Little Rock
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