Obama on Brown v. Board: The 1st Major Step in Ending ‘Separate but Equal’

On the 60th anniversary of the ruling that ended legalized racial segregation in public schools, he recommitted the nation to the effort to stamp out bigotry and racism.

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President Barack Obama

Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images

On the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, President Barack Obama described the 1954 case as the first major step in dismantling the “separate but equal” doctrine that had justified Jim Crow, according to statement released by the White House.

“As we commemorate this historic anniversary, we recommit ourselves to the long struggle to stamp out bigotry and racism in all their forms,” he said in the statement. “We reaffirm our belief that all children deserve an education worthy of their promise.”

He also took the long view toward reaching that goal, stating: “And we remember that change did not come overnight—that it took many years and a nationwide movement to fully realize the dream of civil rights for all of God’s children.”

Obama, who worked as a community organizer on the rough-and-tumble streets of Chicago’s South Side before becoming an elected official, also took time to remember “the men, women, and children who took extraordinary risks in order to make our country more fair and more free.”

“Today, it falls on us to honor their legacy by taking our place in their march, and doing our part to perfect the union we love,” the statement reads.

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