Science for Segregation: Race, Law, and the Case against Brown v. Board of Education

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NYU Press, Aug 1, 2005 - Law - 305 pages
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In this fascinating examination of the intriguing but understudied period following the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, John Jackson examines the scientific case aimed at dismantling the legislation.

Offering a trenchant assessment of the so-called scientific evidence, Jackson focuses on the 1959 formation of the International Society for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics (IAAEE), whose expressed function was to objectively investigate racial differences and publicize their findings. Notable figures included Carleton Putnam, Wesley Critz George, and Carleton Coon. In an attempt to link race, eugenics and intelligence, they launched legal challenges to the Brown ruling, each chronicled here, that went to trial but ultimately failed.

The history Jackson presents speaks volumes about the legacy of racism, as we can see similar arguments alive and well today in such books as The Bell Curve and in other debates on race, science, and intelligence. With meticulous research and a nuanced understanding of the complexities of race and law, Jackson tells a disturbing tale about race in America.


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Page 24 - Whether we like to admit it or not, the result of the mixture of two races, in the long run, gives us a race reverting to the more ancient, generalized and lower type. The cross between a white man and an Indian is an Indian; the cross between a white man and a negro is a negro; the cross between a white man and a Hindu is a Hindu; and the cross between any of the three European races and a Jew is a Jew.

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About the author (2005)

John P. Jackson, Jr., is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado. He is also the author of Social Scientists for Social Justice: Making the Case against Segregation (NYU Press, 2001).

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