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“separate But Equal” No More

May 2024
1min read


Fifty years ago a bold challenge to school segregation was winding its way slowly through the federal courts. The plaintiffs were black parents determined to stake out a better life for their children. Their cause would triumph two years later, when the United States Supreme Court struck down the legal doctrine of “separate but equal”—and sounded a death knell for Jim Crow.

This fall PBS airs a four-part documentary series, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow , which chronicles the history of legal segregation from the earliest days of Reconstruction to the eve of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The series uses never-before-seen photographs and film footage, oral histories, and interviews to plug an important gap in the documentary treatment of civil rights history. A strong companion piece to The Civil War and Eyes on the Prize, Rise and Fall offers a comprehensive look at the political, social, and cultural history of racial segregation in America.

The series premieres nationally on October 1, 8, 15, and 22 on PBS (check local listings). PBS will also maintain a Web site where viewers can learn more about the history of Jim Crow.

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