Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity


Erin M. Carr




The public health and socio-economic crisis that has resulted from the pandemic has amplified existing social inequalities. The disparate racial impact of COVID-19 is a consequence of enduring social, economic, and political injustices that manifest in the form of health status and access, wealth, employment, and housing, all of which have contributed to a greater susceptibility to the virus by racially minoritized communities. racial inequities, educational inequities,

The compounding of racial inequities in all aspects of American life has logically extended to the educational sphere, where pre-pandemic educational inequities have been greatly exacerbated. In marking the passage of the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we must take stock of the current civil rights challenges of our time. This paper will examine the state of educational inequality from a racial lens both prior to and during the COVID crisis. As this paper will explain, the pandemic has further revealed the American public education system to be as inherently as unequal as it was during Jim Crow segregation. Race-neutral educational policies and funding has been exposed as little more than a thin veneer for reconceptualized, contemporary iterations of a pre-Brown system that has failed children of color and continues to do us under the modern regime.

America has a long overdue and unsettled educational and moral debt to pay to its Black and Brown children. In examining the historical conditions that have allowed for advances in racial justice, this paper will argue in favor of the possibility of ideological and systemic change amidst crisis. A structural rebirth that abandons white hegemony cannot, however, be achieved through legal reform alone. The patently unequal education afforded to non-white children, even after more than half a century of civil rights litigation, demands a renewed focus on educational equality that is centered on the needs of Black and Brown children. It necessitates the creation of a robust educational reparation programs and the desegregation of school funding that ensures that children of color are able to access a high quality public education premised on fair funding and that abandons artificial notions of colorblindness and a far-from-achieved post-racial reality.