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76 UMKC L. Rev. 625 (2007-2008)
Access or Interest: Why Brown Has Benefited African-American Women More than Title IX

handle is hein.journals/umkc76 and id is 633 raw text is: ACCESS OR INTEREST: WHY BROWN HAS
A. Jerome Dees*
In May 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of
Education 1 that separate but equal doctrine was an inherently disparate and
unconstitutional means of delivering education to African-American children.2
Less than twenty years later, Congress legislated that women should have the
same educational opportunities afforded to men at institutions that receive federal
funds Those two events on the spectrum of American law have had a dramatic
affect on amateur sports in America. On the thirty-fifth anniversary of Title IX,
it is proper to assess the impact of that legislation on African-American athletes.
The purpose of this article is to briefly explore the history of the African-
American involvement in collegiate athletics prior to the Brown decision. The
article will then trace the further inclusion of the African-American athletes in
the Pre-Title IX era. The article will also address the effect Title IX has had on
the athletic opportunities for African-Americans. Finally, the article seeks to
determine whether Brown or Title IX has provided the greatest benefit for
African-American female athletes.
A.    Pre-Brown v. Board of Education: 1800-1954
College athletics have been an important aspect of campus life at
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).4 In the late nineteenth
century through the middle of the twentieth century, American collegiate
athletics were segregated by skin color, as, was nearly every other aspect of
American society.    Athletic teams representing HBCUs were limited to
competition between themselves, and had little or no contact with the rest of the
athletic world.5
A few short years after the first collegiate football game between Rutgers
and Princeton,6 HBCUs began fielding and playing football on their campuses.
Professor of Law, Faulkner University, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.
Brown v. Bd. of Educ., 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
2 Id. at 495.
3 Education Amendments of 1972, Pub. L. No. 92-318, § 901, 86 Stat. 235 (1972) (codified as
amended at 20 U.S.C. 168 1(a) (2004)).
4 The 1986 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 define an HBCU as any historically
Black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is,
the education of Black Americans.... Pub. L. No. 99-498, § 322, 100 Stat. 1268.
5 Charles H. Martin, Integrating New Year's Day: The Racial Politics of College Bowl Games in
the American South, 24 J. SPORT HISTORY 358, 359 (1997).
6 Princeton Football History, http://www.princeton.edu/football/pfball.html (last visited Feb. 29,

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