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On May 31, 1955, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that hastened school desegregation in this country.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the decision in Brown vs. Board of Education II, the Robert H. Jackson Center will hold some special events.

Brown II came a year after the court decided that public schools could not be "separate but equal," the initial landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling. In the later ruling, the court said that its 1954 decision should be carried out by the states with "all deliberate speed."

Among the events scheduled in coming weeks:

Part one of the movie "Separate But Equal" will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Jackson Center, 305 E. Fourth St. Part two of the film will be shown at 7 p.m. May 2 in the center.

A documentary on Brown v. Board of Education will be shown at 7 p.m. May 15 in the Jackson Center.

Ophelia De Laine Gona, whose father, the Rev. Joseph De Laine Sr., was instrumental in pushing the Clarendon County, South Carolina School District toward desegregation, will speak at 7 p.m. May 17 in the center.

A roundtable discussion on the case will be held at 10:30 a.m. May 18 in Lenna Hall, Chautauqua Institution.

The event will include some of the law clerks from the 1954 term of the U.S. Supreme Court.

A dinner will be held May 18 in the Athenaeum Hotel at the Institution, honoring all the participants. William T. Coleman, a Medal of Freedom winner and an aide to Thurgood Marshall during the case, will be the featured speaker.

Marshall, who later became a Supreme Court justice, represented the Brown family in the landmark case.

Coleman is also a former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and the first African-American law clerk in the history of the Supreme Court.

The series concludes at 10 a.m. June 22 in the Jackson Center, with a presentation by Aaron Beckwith, Emmy-award winning producer of the movie "Follow the North Star."

For additional information on the series, call 483-6646 or visit the center's Web site at

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