Interview with Constance Baker Motley
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

THE FIRST QUESTION IS, WE'RE LOOKING FOR YOU TO GIVE US AN IDEA OF THE CLIMATE IN WHICH THE BROWN CASES WERE FOUGHT, THE INFLUENCE OF SUCH FACTORS AS THE RETURNING VETERENS FROM WWII MIGRATION OF BLACKS TO THE CITIES AND TO THE NORTH, THOSE SORTS OF THINGS.

Judge Constance Baker Motley:

Well, of course the Brown case came after World War II, although the idea for it I think, long preceded that, the NAACP had set up its legal arm in 1939 and when World War II came along in 1941, plans for preceding with a massive legal effort against segregation took a back seat so to speak, in favor of aiding black servicemen, who had sought the aid of the NAACP in connection with courts martial. And of course, once the war was over and the issue of the treatment of black servicemen loomed large in the minds of all Americans, this whole effort to outlaw segregation in the armed forces and in American society generally gathered a great deal of momentum and of course culminated in the Supreme Court's decision in the Brown case.