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Social History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

1985

University of Pennsylvania Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Social History

Social Science And Segregation Before Brown, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 1985

Social Science And Segregation Before Brown, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The courts must bear a heavy share of the burden of American racism. An outpouring of historical scholarship on racism and the American law reveals the outrageous and humiliating extent to which American lawyers, judges, and legislators created, perpetuated, and defended racist American institutions. The law is not autonomous, however, particularly in areas of explicit public policy making. Lawyers did not invent racism. Rather they created racist institutions because society was racist and racism was implicit in its values. The trend in scholarship on the legal history of American racism, however, has been to place most of the blame for ...