Inspired by the University of Illinois's celebration of the Brown v. Board of Education decision's fiftieth anniversary, this collection addresses the significance of Brown in the contributors' lives or work in education and civil rights. Several authors describe their personal roles in the Brown case or similar cases, while others examine and illustrate events, performances, and exhibitions that were part of the anniversary commemoration. The book not only explores the repercussions of the Brown decision, but also stands as a historic document in its own right, preserving the reactions of many prominent intellectuals, artists, and activists fifty years after the decision.
Contributors are Kal Alston, Margaret L. Andersen, Kathryn H. Anthony, Nathaniel C. Banks, Bernice McNair Barnett, Christopher Benson, Ed Blankenheim, Julian Bond, Orville Vernon Burton, Jason Chambers, Constance Curry, Joseph A. De Laine Jr., Mary L. Dudziak, Joe R. Feagin, John Hope Franklin, Ophelia De Laine Gona, Lani Guinier, Darlene Clark Hine, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, John Jennings, Ralph Lemon, George Lipsitz, Jim Loewen, Laughlin McDonald, David O'Brien, James C. Onderdonk, Sekou Sundiata, Christopher Teal, Nicholas Watkins, Carrie Mae Weems, Juan Williams, and Joy Ann Williamson.