chapter  XXVII
XXVII Civil Rights and Affi rmative Action
By• School Busing 542
Pages 15

Racial segregation was still a fact of life in public education when Warren Burger took over as chief justice. Although Brown v. Board of Education outlawed racial discrimination in the schools, the holding did not impose a positive duty on the states to integrate their school systems. So for more than a decade the practical consequences of Brown were negligible. Most African American children continued to attend de facto segregated schools. Many southern states adopted so-called “freedom-of-choice” plans and other devices to preserve dual educational systems. Blacks were no longer barred by law from white schools, but they nevertheless found themselves in separate schools or present in white schools only in token numbers. Brown had mandated desegregation with “all deliberate speed,” but a decade later only a small percentage of black children attended schools with white children.