1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that all states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.”

Cartoon, Marshall in Train, NAACP's Desegregaton Special

“With All Deliberate Speed”
The Brown decision declared the system of legal segregation unconstitutional. But the Court ordered only that the states end segregation with “all deliberate speed.” This vagueness about how to enforce the ruling gave segregationists the opportunity to organize resistance.

Although many whites welcomed the Brown decision, a large number considered it an assault on their way of life. Segregationists played on the fears and prejudices of their communities and launched a militant campaign of defiance and resistance.


Southern congressmen and governors attacked the Supreme Court’s decision. Through state and local governments and private organizations, white supremacists attempted to block desegregation. People across the country, like these from Poolesville, Maryland, in 1956, took to the streets to protest integration. This kind of opposition exposed the deep divide in the nation, and revealed the difficulty of enforcing the high court’s decision.

(Courtesy of Washington Star Collection, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library)


4 thoughts on “1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that all states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.””

  1. Thank you for sharing this important reminder of our history.
    History Matters for the Future of our Democracy, and so does Education for the Future of our Democracy.



    1. Indeed, but what does deliberate speed mean? they tampered it with a few concessions… Yet, we continue the fight but boy did trump and the pandemic expose an America we knew we were but seemingly ok with or couldn’t find the right partners to bust these racist xenophobic barriers down.
      The NFL policy of “race norming” was an act of complicit racism against black players and now they have to choose to continue the Plantation behavior probably behind closed doors or respect 70% of their Players who happen to be Black? sigh
      Segregation … a shapeshifter

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is a shapeshifter, but we are more flexible, because we come from those who survived, mostly by adapting. So as we adapt, and teach other to adapt, this society will have to start to adapt as well, as everyone begins to see that this planet, and we Human Beings who live on it, only have one boat, and we really are all in it. We just have to draw on that strength that got our ancestors through, and keep moving forward, teaching, and reaching, even out to those who may not want to see…



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