Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Walker, Blackboard Jungle: Delinquency, Desegregation, and the Cultural Politics of Brown

Anders Walker, St. Louis University School of Law, has just published an essay, BLACKBOARD JUNGLE: DELINQUENCY, DESEGREGATION, AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF BROWN, in the Columbia Law Review.  Here's the abstract:

In 1955, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released a controversial film about juvenile delinquency entitled Blackboard Jungle. Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver subsequently used the film as a metaphor for what would happen to southern schools were Brown v. Board of Education enforced, marking the beginnings of a much larger campaign to articulate southern resistance to integration in racially neutral, cultural terms. Taking Blackboard Jungle as a starting point, this Essay recounts the intersection between discourses of delinquency and desegregation at mid-century, showing how both civil rights groups and segregationists alike drew from popular culture and developmental psychology to advance their constitutional agendas.