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The Road to Brown

Distributed by California Newsreel, Order Dept., PO Box 2284, South Burlington, VT 05407; 877-811-7495 (toll free)
Produced by Mykola Kulish and William Elwood
Directed by Mykola Kulish and William Elwood
DVD, color and b&, 56 min.
Jr. High - Adult
African American Studies, Education, Human Rights, Biography

Reviewed by Katherine Parsons, Information Literacy Outreach Librarian, Bronx Community College

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 5/14/2004

The film begins with present day clips of students today attending school and riding school buses together. Then it shows archival footage of the time when blacks could only attend black schools and colleges.

Many people are aware of or have heard of the highly publicized case, Brown vs. Board of Education, however, this was not the first case that dealt with segregation in the school system. The Road to Brown highlights and details these cases and introduces the viewer to Charles Hamilton Houston.

Houston was the lawyer who fought and documented the unequal treatment of blacks in the educational system. He diligently worked to end the Jim Crow era. He is known as “the man who killed Jim Crow.” He brought to trial cases that involved quality education, salary inequities, and the admittance of blacks into white colleges. Houston also documented his work.

Highly recommended for students in junior high school and up, The Road to Brown provides historical information on the events that led to the Brown vs. Board of Education case. The following cases were highlighted: Plessey v. Ferguson, Murray v. Maryland, Teacher's Salary Cases, and Gaines v. Missouri. In addition to documenting historical education cases, this film is also a tribute to Charles Hamilton Houston.