About This Project
The Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Digital Archive uses electronic media to preserve and expand knowledge of the historic 1954 Supreme Court decision declaring segregation in U.S. public schools unconstitutional. Backed by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and organized by Journalism and Interactive Multi-Media undergraduate students at The College of New Jersey, this archive will contribute to the on-going work of historians, educators, and activists to preserve the history of Brown vs. Board of Ed. and promote awareness and open discussion of the issue in the classroom. This archive will work to attain first-hand accounts of experiences with this case and/or related issues, collecting and archiving images and emails related to the topic, developing materials to teach and contextualize the events for the general public, and most importantly providing a resource for educators and students to obtain information on the Brown vs. Board of Ed decision. The Digital Archive uses technology to preserve the history of this event in new ways. Our main goal is to not only preserve and celebrate the history of this case, but also to raise awareness of the case’s applicability today. We also hope to foster positive thought and discussion about the issue among the users of this site.
Who is ASALH?
ASALH stands for The Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Their mission statement proclaims that their goal is: "to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community."
Who developed this site?
Students of Interactive Multimedia, Professional Writing, and Journalism at The College of New Jersey. Professor Kim Pearson of the English department and Interactive Multimedia program has brought our talents together to create a digital archive commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.
This was a two-semester project. During the fall semester, 2003, students did audience analysis research, conducted oral history interviews and created prototype websites focused on some aspect of the legacy of the Brown decision. (Please note that the prototype website links are on student webpages that are subject to change.) The Brown Digital Archive website was planned, designed and assembled during the spring semester, 2004.
Why are we doing it?
The archive is meant to serve as a public forum where students, teachers, lawyers, or anyone who is interested can share ideas about or experiences with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, as well as a permanent reminder of the importance of this decision.
How is Brown vs. Board of Education relevant?
Although it has been over half a century since legalized segregation plagued the American school system, de facto segregation still exists. For example, neighborhood schools in racially homogenous communities, made possible by districting, keep school-aged children segregated by practice if not by law. Keeping alive the memory of legalized segregation and the profound impact it had on the collective psyche and history of our nation will assist those who doubt that these problems still exist acknowledge not only that they do, but their roots are deep. And although public segregation has been outlawed, each person must still work to outlaw the private segregation within their own communities, and themselves.
THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN LIFE AND HISTORY
Howard University, CB Powell Building, 525 Bryant Street, Suite C142, Washington, DC 20059
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: May 8, 2004