Letter to Justine Wise Polier from Annie Stein, December 23, 1958
Letter to Justice Justine Wise Polier from Annie Stein (writing as the Secretary of the NAACP Schools Workshop), congratulating her on the decision in the Skipwith v. New York City Board of Education.
Letter from Annie Stein to Justine Wise Polier, December 23, 1958
131 Westminster Road
Brooklyn 18, New York
December 23, 1958
Judge Justine Wise Polier
175 East 64th Street
New York, New York
Dear Judge Polier,
I have just finished reading your great decision in the Harlem Parents case, and with deep emotion I salute you for your courage, your scholarship, the pace and keen edge of your argument, the forthright use of your language, your compassion and total understanding.
A heavy weight of pain and frustration bordering almost on despair has been lifted from the hearts of all of us who have been fighting to bring some measure of equality to our schools.
We know there is still a long road ahead. But your decision has exposed the realities of our critical situation. The Board is no longer merely morally responsible for equalizing the schools, - it has been declared legally responsible.
The moral responsibility was comfortably disposed of through considerations of expediency, of administrative difficulties, of budget and a delicacy of feeling about disturbing existing community prejudices.
But you have shown that the constitutional guarantees of the 14th Amendment reach through this fog of excuses to protect the rights of the Negro child.
Your declaration of the legal responsibility of the Board of education calls a sharp halt to any further equivocation.
This decision marks the turning point in our long fight and clearly marks the road we must now follow to achieve full equality for all our children.
We are deeply grateful to you, for your vision in knowing the truth and for your courage in speaking the truth.
Annie Stein, secretary
NAACP Schools Workshop
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Letter to Justine Wise Polier from Annie Stein, December 23, 1958." (Viewed on September 17, 2014) <http://jwa.org/node/11315/lightbox2>.