Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.

Thanksgiving dinner was an unaffair in my family after grandmother died. My mother didn’t cook. She didn’t know how. She had a High School diploma instead of kitchen skills.  Grandmother was a wonderful cook. She was a cook and housekeeper her entire life. She promised herself her daughter would never be either so grandmother never taught mother how to do those things. Grandmother died when I was 10 and that was the last time I had Thanksgiving dinner completely home cooked.

Mother grew up to go to business not work. As grandma Tammie used to say, you wore overalls for work but you went to business in clothes just less than Sunday best. There was always discrimination and segregation but education was the key to how differently you were treated. Maybe you were meant to be one of the The Talented Tenth, or later, a Five-Percenter but the cosmic common denominator was (and is) education. But more than 60 years after Brown v. the Board of Education kids of color in NYC Public schools fail at a 65% rate. There is justice but where is the value is one doesn’t look for it or feel it’s needed.

My grandmother would often talk to herself when she sat in the kitchen and smoked pall malls. I’d ask her why and she’d smile, pat me on the sholder and say. “Baby, that’s the only way I can get an intelligent conversation around here”. I’ve learned the value education and intelligent conversation. Today, too many folks of color would rather be cooks.

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

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