Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, rev. ed.

Loewen, James W.

Touchstone, 2007

pp. 162-63

American history textbooks almost never get down to the roots of why segregation was so shameful. For example, they will explain Brown v Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling to end segregation in the nation’s schools, as necessitated by the fact that schools for black people, while separate, were actually shabby and unequal. They were shabby and unequal. But that wasn’t what moved the Court. It knew that separate facilities were inherently unequal because the separation all by itself suggests that black people are pariahs. “’Unclean!’ was the caste message of every ‘colored’ water fountain, waiting room, and courtroom Bible.” Segregated courtroom Bibles! Segregation was all about official recognition and reinforcement of a stigma.