Modern college life v. Brown v. Board of Education

The anniversary of the landmark ruling just passed, and my thoughts turn to black-only dormitories and black-only graduation ceremonies. I find both culturally divisive; they are antithetical to the opportunity for cultural mixing that I expect of higher education.
The legality of each is another issue. A mono-ethnic dorm is perfectly legal if the dorm is privately owned – per the First Amendment’s Freedom of Association clause. (This includes private dorms adjacent to public universities.) Likewise, mono-ethnic graduation ceremonies are legal at private colleges only. The Brown decision doesn’t read, “except at public colleges and universities.”
I do have one question: do black students have the option to choose between the graduation ceremonies for blacks only and those for the general student population?
Update: I’ll be leaving on vacation tomorrow. Going to Mississippi to see relatives. May try to do a bit of blogging while away, but no guarantees.


One comment

  1. Dave J

    Yes, ethnic dorms, etc., at private institutions are constitutional. Whether they violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act is a seperate question: the overwhelming majority of educational institutions in the US, public and private, fall under its ambit since they accept federal funds. Whether such an application of the Civil Rights Act would itself violate the First Amendment is a pretty (excuse the pun) academic question, since the current embarassing case law on “affirmative action” doesn’t regard such things as a violation of the statute in the first place.