An intriguing true story, Dawn presents a fascinating and thoroughly researched account of the quest for equality that took place in Clarendon County, South Carolina, during the period from 1947-1955.
Inspired, organized, and led by the Reverend J. A. De Laine, a small band of rural people struggled to get better educational opportunities for their children. Their efforts involved two previous lawsuits before culminating in the 1950 filing of Briggs et al. v. Elliott et al.
A public school desegregation lawsuit, Briggs was the first of the Brown v. Board of Education cases to reach the federal court system. Briggs is now generally recognized as the keystone case for the set of five lawsuits collectively known as Brown v. Board.
In its 1954 collective decision on the Brown cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school segregation violated the protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Dawn of Desegregation describes the heroism, depicts the faith, and documents the tribulations of the modest, unassuming people who became Briggs plaintiffs. It recounts how they, their leaders, and their supporters obstinately continued efforts for equality in spite of severe opposition and frequent setbacks.
Reading Dawn of Desegregation makes one truly appreciate the meaning of the word “courage.”
With burning zeal and dogged determination,
J. A. De Laine used himself as a catalyst and a human sacrifice,
setting in motion a powerful correctional force that revolutionized thought and social practice throughout a nation.
—from Dawn of Desegregation