Press Release ● Human and Civil Rights
For Immediate Release: 
May 17, 2004
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement today in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision made on May 17, 1954:

"Today, we commemorate a landmark Supreme Court decision that not only leveled the playing field in the American education system, but also permitted our nation to move much closer to achieving the full measure of its greatness.

"Brown v. Board of Education declared that 'separate but equal' was inherently unequal and unconstitutional.  This case made its way through our legal system because of the courage, will and perseverance of American citizens who refused to accept anything less than the fairness and justice that their citizenship conferred.  The scourge of segregation that afflicted our nation for far too long began to crumble when Brown was announced.

"Today, while much has changed for the better in our integrated education system, we must recommit in both word and deed to the basic fairness and humanity that were articulated in Brown.  Our work in achieving a fairer, more just America is not complete.  In spite of the efforts of dedicated Americans, the road to equality is long and remains paved with hardship.

"I am confident that we can affect change by responsibly and honestly addressing the needs of our educational system. Today, half a century after the Court's decision in Brown, we must focus on reforming and improving our public schools by increasing federal assistance to America's local school districts while demanding that states, school districts and schools are accountable for the academic success of all students in return.

"All Americans should recognize the historic importance of this monumental decision, and celebrate the positive change that it brought.  But none of us should be content until every child, in every community, receives the best education possible and inequities based on race are relegated to history."