- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 16, 2024

President Biden on Thursday met with family members of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case as part of events this week aimed at shoring up his support among Black voters.

Mr. Biden marked the 70th anniversary of the decision, which outlawed segregation in public schools, with a private Oval Office meeting with plaintiffs’ relatives.

Among the attendees were Cheryl Brown Henderson, whose father, Oliver Brown, was the lead plaintiff in the case, and Adrienne Jennings Bennett, the daughter of James Jennings, a plaintiff in Boiling v. Sharpe, a separate 1954 decision that outlawed segregation of schools in the District of Columbia.

The meeting was part of a week of carefully scripted events as Mr. Biden desperately tries to stop his erosion of support among African Americans.

Mr. Biden captured 92% of the Black vote in 2020, according to Pew Research. But a series of polls shows that this year Mr. Biden is in trouble with Black voters because of the high cost of living amid soaring inflation.

Polls released this week by The New York Times, Siena College and The Philadelphia Inquirer show an increasing number are flocking to former President Donald Trump, the GOP’s presumptive nominee.

The polls found Mr. Trump has about 20% support among Black voters, which if stands through November would be the highest level of African American support for a Republican presidential candidate since President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.

Desperate to reverse the trend, Mr. Biden’s schedule this week includes a speech Friday at D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the commencement address at historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black, South Asian and woman to hold that title in U.S. history, will meet with leaders from nine historically Black sororities and fraternities on Friday.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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