Interview with Constance Baker Motley
QUESTION 12
INTERVIEWER:

ELABORATE THE SENSE OF IT AFFECTING THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, I THINK THE BLACK COMMUNITY ITSELF HAD—IT HAD—A PARTICULAR IMPACT ON THEM.

Judge Constance Baker Motley:

Yes, I think that the greatest impact of the Brown decision was on the black community itself. It was a statement to the black community that they had a friend so to speak, the Supreme Court. And so it emboldened the communities of blacks around the country to move forward to secure their own rights.** Prior to that time they were fearful frankly, of economic reprisal, particularly in the south if they struck out for equality. But once the Supreme Court decided the Brown case, they realized that they had support from one important arm of government anyway. And so they went ahead with their drive to eliminate segregation in all areas of the public life for the American community.