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Division of Christian Citizenship:

The Right Reverend Lauriston L. Scaife, D.D., chairman.
The Right Reverend A. C. Lichtenberger, D.D., vice chairman.
The Right Reverend J. Brooke Mosley, D.D.

The Reverend Leland B. Henry.

Peter Day.

The Reverend Douglas L. Maclean.

Mrs. Stephen K. Mahon.

Mrs. Theodore O. Wedel.

The Reverend Moran Weston, Ph. D., executive secretary.

THE COMMITTEE OF ADVICE

The Right Reverend C. Alfred Cole, D.D., bishop of upper South Carolina; chair

man of the department of Christian social relations, province of Sewanee. The Right Reverend Thomas H. Wright, D.D., bishop of east Carolina; chairman

of the Biracial Committee of the National Council.

The Reverend Duncan M. Hobart, chairman, department of Christian social relations, diocese of Mississippi.

The Reverend Duncan M. Gray, Jr., rector, Calvary Church, Cleveland, Miss.
The Reverend Cedric E. Mills, D.D., rector, St. James' Church, Baltimore, Md.
The Reverend Tollie L. Caution, D.D., secretary, Biracial Committee of the Na-
tional Council.

The Reverend George M. Alexander, member, the National Council; rector, Trinity Church, Columbia, S.C.

George S. Mitchell, Ph. D., executive director, Southern Regional Council; member Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta, Ga.

Lester B. Granger, executive director, National Urban League; member, St. Martin's Church, New York City.

The Honorable Francis O. Clarkson, judge of the Supreme Court of North Caro

lina; former chancellor, diocese of North Carolina, Charlotte, N.C. Mrs. Francis O. Clarkson, member of the National Council.

Charles E. Shaw, president, Watchtower Insurance Co.; member of St. Luke's Church, Houston, Tex.

Mrs. D. Ellwood Williams, Jr., president, woman's auxiliary, St. Anne's Church, Annapolis, Md.; chairman of Christian social relations, Maryland State Council of Churchwomen.

Dorothy Ferebee, M.D., former president, National Council of Negro Women; member, St. Mary's Church, Washington, D.C.

I. AN HISTORIC ACTION

In an action as historic as the Supreme Court's own decision on public school segregation, the National Council of the Episcopal Church1 unanimously accepted a report and statement of guiding principles on the decision, and commended the document to the church and churchmen for study and action "as they may be led."

The document was prepared, at the request of the council,' by its department of Christian social relations an division of Christian citizenship, assisted by a representative group of churchmen serving as a committee of advice. The report consists of a factual summary of public reaction to the decision during the first 6 months after it was announced, with special reference to the reaction of public school authorities and of church groups. The reaction of parachial, diocesan, and provincial bodies of the Episcopal Church is reported in some detail.

The council's resolution noted that the study document had been prepared to "assist parochial and diocesan authorities in their efforts to promote a wise, wholehearted, and genuine realization of the principles set forth by the Court and supported so widely by churchmen in all parts of the country."

The council also directed that the documents be transmitted to certain leaders of the church and of educational institutions affiliated with the church, with the request that they consider and act on the documents and inform the council of any use to which they may be put.

1 At its regular quarterly meeting, Dec. 8-9, at Seabury House.

2 The council's resolution requesting the report and statement may be found on p. 43. 40361-59-pt. 4——41

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CIVIL RIGHTS-1959

CIVIL RIGHTS-1959

decision during the 6 months which followed its announcement on May 17, 1954. This report is an essential part of the statement and resolution acted on by the muncil and commended to the church for study and action. It is clearly the intent of the council that the report and statement be considered together; for the facts illuminate and lead to both the statement and resoluion.

1. THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ; ITS BACKGROUND AND EXCERPTS

Its background.-Four separate cases, instituted by Negro parents on behalf of their children, were originally argued before the Supreme Court in December

The text of the council's resolution is:

Resolved: The National Council accepts the report on church reaction to the Supreme Court decision on segregation in public schools and the guiding state ment thereon, prepared by the division of Christian citizenship at the request of the council, and adopted by the division and the department of Christian social relations, as being in keeping with the spirit and intent of the resolutions of the general convention of 1952 on justice and equal opportunity.

The council commends this report and statement for study to all churchmen, and to such others as may care to take note of it, with the hope that this report of facts and this statement of guiding principles and policies may assist parochial and diocesan authorities in their efforts to promote a wise, wholehearted, and genuine realization of the principles set forth by the Court and supported so widely by churchmen in all parts of the country.

The council transmits this report and statement to all bishops of the church, deans of seminaries, trustees of educational institutions affiliated with the church, and to diocesan and provincial officers, with the request that they study and act on these documents as they may be led, and that they inform the council of any use which they may make of this document; and it requests further that its department of Christian social relations and division of Christian citizenship summarize and report such information to the council from time to time, and continue to give leadership in this matter.

The council's resolution made an affirmation of the justice of the Court's decision from the point of view of Christian faith and morals, as well as from the point of view of law and democratic principles. It concluded with an appeal to churchmen, despite the "very real and very great difficulties faced by them in many areas, to join with all men and women of good will to realize in the church and in the community the principles and goals of the Court's decision.”

II. AN AFFIRMATION AND AN APPEAL TO CHURCHMEN The council notes that parochial, diocesan, and provincial bodies of the Episcopal Church have already taken positive and supportire action. These actions range all the way from affirmations of general principles, to specific recommendations, to specific acts in crisis situations.

The council adopts the following passages from the statement of guiding principles presented by the department and division ::

The Court's ruling is more than a matter of law and order *** it is also a inatter of religious faith and democratic principles * * * for it has to do with the will of God and the welfare and destiny of human beings Judged in the light of Christian principles * * * the Court's decision is just, right, and necessary.

"We thank God for the new and rich opportunity for health and healing which the decision has opened up, and for the hope this brings to people all over the world.

“We thank God that so much of the growing support is based on reasoned Christian insight, faith, and conviction.

“We thank God also that through His Holy Spirit, He has put it into the hearts of many to undertake voluntarily to remove these barriers between the children of our land. These efforts have demonstrated that the decision is as workable in practice as it is sound in principle. It is true and it works. In the light of these successes, the recognized practical difficulties which still exist may be seen as manageable, when approached by men and women of good will."

With full and sympathetic appreciation of the very real and very great difficulties faced by the church and churchmen in many areas, we feel compelled, however, to appeal to churchmen and others everywhere, to join with all men and women of good will, to realize in the church and in the community the principles and goals of the Court's decision.

III. A REPORT: THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL DESEGREGATION

While these cases originated in different places (Clarendon County, S. C.; Prince Edward County. Va.; Topeka, Kans.; Wilmington, Del.; and Washington, D.C.); a common legal question bound them together and the Supreme Court considered them accordingly. A fifth case from the District of Columbia, similar in nature, but having a different legal question as its basis, was argued at the same time and a decision was handed down separately.

In each of the four cases, the parents were seeking the aid of the courts in obtaining admission of their children to the public schools of their cominunity on a nonsegregated basis. Their children had been denied admission to schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race. This segregation was alleged to deprive the plaintiff's of the Equal protection of the laws under the 14th amendment. Through their legal representatives the parents argued that segregated public schools are not equal and cannot be made equal, and that hence their children were deprived of equal protection of the laws.

At the conclusion of the original arguments, the Court requested additional time and the lawyers of the plaintiffs, of the defendants' States, and of the C.S. Department of Justice were invited to submit information relating to certain questions advanced by the Court.

Oral arguments on these questions and briefs were submitted in December
1923.

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court handed down its now historic decision.
The cardinal sections of this decision are cited herewith.
Excerpts from Supreme Court decision

"Our decision * * * cannot turn on merely a comparison of these tangible factors (of equality or non-equality of buildings, curiculums, qualifications and salaries of teachers) in the Negro and white schools involved in each of these cases. We must look instead to the effect of segregation itself on public education.

** * * We must consider public education in the light of its full development and its present place in American life throughout the Nation. Only in this way can it be determined if segregation in public schools deprives these plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws.

"Today, education is perhaps the most important function of State and local governments. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, eren service in the Armed Forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship.

"Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to the cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the State has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.

“We come than to the question presented : Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other tangible factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group

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of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.

"In Sweatt v. Painter, supra, (and) in McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, supra, the Court * * * resorted to intangible considerations * * *. Such considerations apply with added force to children in grade and high schools. separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race, generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be

To

The discussion and action of the division of Christian citizenship, its committee of advice, of the department of Christian social relations, and of the National Council, were based upon a written report of reaction to the Court's

? The full text of the resolution may be found on p. 37; as prepared by request of the council.

8 Except for editorial changes to bring it up to date, this section, pp. 5-36, is the "report"

decision during the 6 months which followed its announcement on May 17, 1954. This report is an essential part of the statement and resolution acted on by the council and commended to the church for study and action. It is clearly the intent of the council that the report and statement be considered together; for the facts illuminate and lead to both the statement and resoluion.

1. THE SUPREME COURT DECISION: ITS BACKGROUND AND EXCERPTS

Its background.-Four separate cases, instituted by Negro parents on behalf of their children, were originally argued before the Supreme Court in December 1952.

While these cases originated in different places (Clarendon County, S. C.; Prince Edward County, Va.; Topeka, Kans.; Wilmington, Del.; and Washington, D.C.); a common legal question bound them together and the Supreme Court considered them accordingly. A fifth case from the District of Columbia, similar in nature, but having a different legal question as its basis, was argued at the same time and a decision was handed down separately.

In each of the four cases, the parents were seeking the aid of the courts in obtaining admission of their children to the public schools of their community on a nonsegregated basis. Their children had been denied admission to schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race. This segregation was alleged to deprive the plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws under the 14th amendment.

Through their legal representatives the parents argued that segregated public schools are not equal and cannot be made equal, and that hence their children were deprived of equal protection of the laws.

At the conclusion of the original arguments, the Court requested additional time and the lawyers of the plaintiffs, of the defendants' States, and of the U.S. Department of Justice were invited to submit information relating to certain questions advanced by the Court.

Oral arguments on these questions and briefs were submitted in December 1953.

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court handed down its now historic decision. The cardinal sections of this decision are cited herewith.

Excerpts from Supreme Court decision

"Our decision *** cannot turn on merely a comparison of these tangible factors (of equality or non-equality of buildings, curiculums, qualifications and salaries of teachers) in the Negro and white schools involved in each of these cases. We must look instead to the effect of segregation itself on public education.

"*** We must consider public education in the light of its full development and its present place in American life throughout the Nation. Only in this way can it be determined if segregation in public schools deprives these plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws.

"Today, education is perhaps the most important function of State and local governments. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the Armed Forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship.

"Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to the cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the State has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.

"We come than to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other tangible factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.

"In Sweatt v. Painter, supra, (and) in McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, supra, the Court *** resorted to intangible considerations ***. Such considerations apply with added force to children in grade and high schools. ΤΟ separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race, generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be

undone. The effect of this separation on their educational opportunities was well stated by a finding in the Kansas case by a court which nevertheless felt compelled to rule againsts the Negro plaintiffs:

"Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to retard the educational and mental development of Negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system.'

"We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs *** are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th amendment."

In a separate decision handed down at the same time on the fifth case arising in the District of Columbia, the Court said:

"In view of our decision that the Constitution prohibits the States from maintaining racially segregated public schools, it would be unthinkable that the same Constitution would impose a lesser duty on the Federal Government. We hold that racial segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia is a denial of the due process of law guaranteed by the fifth amendment to the Constitution."

Because of the far-reaching implications of these rulings, the Court invited the legal representatives of all parties, and the Attorney General of the United States, to submit additional briefs and to make oral arguments at the next session of the Court.

2. REACTION TO THE DECISION

Reaction to the Supreme Court decision was immediate and worldwide. Within the Nation, leaders in all walks of life and in all sections of the country had their say. Public discussion in the District of Columbia and the 21 States most affected by the decision was most vigorous. Opinions expressed ranged all the way from forthright and enthusiastic approval to outright defiance of the law of the land, as affirmed in the decision. Many counseled calmness, caution, and commonsense.

Political leaders and school authorities

The reaction and opinions of political leaders and school authorities in States most affected by the decision are of crucial importance. They primarily are responsible for the maintenance of law and order, and for working out practical ways of compliance with the decision.

Six months after the decision was announced, the picture was somewhat as follows: At the 20th annual meeting of the Conference of Southern Governors, in mid-November, the Governors of seven States-Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma-issued a signed statement in which they declared that integration of public schools would "engender dissensions that do not now exist." They further asserted that they would "exercise every proper prerogative" to keep segregated public schools. The Governor of Mississippi was not present at that time but is known to be in accord with these sentiments.

The Governors of six States-Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia, and Alabama-who were also present, but did not sign the statement, may be presumed to be disposed toward a more moderate position, if not that of full compliance.

Four States-Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi-have enacted legislation designed to maintain segregated public schools (New York Times, Sept. 17, 1954). In North Carolina, the Governor appointed a citizens commission to study the implications of the Court's decision and to make recommendations.

In Tennessee State officials proposed gradual desegregation beginning with the first grade. The solicitor general stated: "As we see it now the question of whether there will be segregation was settled by the decision last May. We see no point in further arguing that point. Instead we will present our ideas about how the ending of segregation can be carried out with a minimum

of disturbance to our school system." The attorney general of the State and the commission of education generally agreed with the solicitor general (N.Y. Times, Aug. 19, 1954).

The Governor of Alabama is reported to have resisted increasing political pressure to call a special session of the legislature to enact an amendment to the State constitution to make possible the abolition of public education (Southern School News, vol. I, No. 3, Nov. 4, 1954, p. 1).

In Virginia the Governor appointed the Virginia Commission on Public Education, to study the matter and to make recommendations. This commission is scheduled to hold public hearings.

In contrast to the foregoing, voluntary compliance with the Court's decision was the order of the day in a number of States and cities.

Shortly after the decision the attorney general of Missouri ruled that State segregation laws were nullified by the decision, but held that compliance with the decision was voluntary until the Court announced its implementation decrees. However, school authorities announced their intention to comply with the decision in all of the schools of the 69 counties affected by the decision

INS September-October 1954, vol, 25, No. 5, p. 1). The other 35 counties in the State were not affected by the decision. At the end of October the Southern School News reported that 289 of the 466 school districts in Missouri have no Negro pupils. "Of the remaining 177 with Negro pupils, 110 have begun some form of desegregation. In no case has desegregation caused any incident."

In Kansas, where segregation was permitted but not required by law, officials announced voluntary compliance shortly after the decision was announced.

In Kentucky, Republican and Democratic leaders agreed in announcing their intention to support voluntary compliance and thus kept the issue of desegregation out of the election campaign this year.

In West Virginia, where voluntary compliance was undertaken in three counties, there was opposition from some parents and some picketing. State officials, however, continued to make plans for voluntary compliance with the Court's decision. The State board of education opened the nine colleges under its jurisdiction to all qualified students. As a result, West Virginia State College, which until this year, has been open only to Negro students, has admitted more than 180 white students on a coeducational basis. This shows that the desegregation movement is working not only in the previously allwhite schools, but, also, in the previously all-Negro schools.

Several other isolated events indicate that the problem of public school segregation is a national as well as a southern problem. Shortly after the Supreme Court's decision, the school board of Hobbs, N. Mex., voted to comply with the decision. Despite agitation by a Baptist minister against desegregation, the schools opened in the fall fully desegregated and without inciden. Times, Aug. 31. 1954.)

(New York

In New York State segregation of Indian children was ended for the first time in 100 years. One thousand five hundred and thirty-five Indian schoolchildren were transferred from out-of-date schools on reservations, some of which had been used since 1846, to neighboring public schools. (New York Times, Sept. 24, 1954.)

In Pasadena, Calif., the school authorities abolished a system of neutral zones, which had been in effect since 1927, and which represented an indirect method of racial segregation. (New York Times, June 27, 1954.)

In New York City and Englewood, N.J., Negro leaders charged that indirect racial segregation in the public schools had been discovered in certain districts. Political leaders have advanced several proposals to meet the popular demand, in certain parts of States such as South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, for measures to circumvent the decision. These proposals range from withdrawal of State support of gerrymandering of school districts. They may be classified under five broad headings: (1) transfer of existing schools to a system of private schools; (2) assignment of all students on an individual basis to particular schools; (3) right to transfer without cause from school to school; (4) gerrymandering of school districts; (5) to create a third school system of integrated schools, in addition to existing dual ones.

Interracial News Service.

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