Counternarratives from Delaware: the impact of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) on social identity development and resource allocation for Black students

Alleyne, Akilah S.
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University of Delaware
The desegregation of public schools continues to be a controversial topic in the U.S., particularly after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) decision. It’s been over sixty years following Brown, yet U.S. schools have remained racially and socioeconomically segregated as middle- and upper-class parents have pursued alternative choices like charter and private schools when deciding where to send their child to school. This secondary qualitative analysis examines stories and counter stories concerning the quality of education provided to Black, former students of segregated and integrated Delaware public schools, and explores the extent to which participants’ social development was impacted by segregation and desegregation in school and along the home-to-school (HTS) commute. In addition to examining Black, former students’ experiences in school and along the home-to-school (HTS) commute pre- and post-Brown, this dissertation investigates the impact of desegregation on participants’ social identity development. ☐ More specifically, the study explores the ways in which Black students developed racial awareness of perceptions of ‘self’ as it relates to ‘feelings of inferiority’ following Brown. Few studies have qualitatively examined the impact of desegregation cases like Brown vs. Board of Education on Black students’ identity development, HTS commute, or their perceptions of the quality of education received after the Supreme Court’s ruling to desegregate U.S. public schools. Therefore, this dissertation examines the oral history interviews of 26 former Black students of Delaware public schools and utilizes archival resources to explore their stories and counter stories concerning the pre- and post- Brown schooling experience. Implications for this dissertation fill a gap in the sociological and educational literature concerning Black students' social identity development, their in-school experiences, and experiences along the HTS commute before and after Brown.
Delaware , Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) , Social identity development , Resource allocation , Black students