Thurgood Marshall's death in early 1993, just missing the fortieth anniversary of his historic victory in Brown v. Board of Education, closes one era of civil rights in the United States while inviting a reappraisal of equal opportunity in American education. Marshall's decades-long struggle with the "separate but equal" precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson overshadowed larger, more basic questions about the potential of African Americans in an institution dominated by European American traditions, values, and people. And if those questions were left unexplored on the road to Brown, it is not surprising that the larger issue of racial stratification and the structure of opportunity in the United States remained unexamined. Ironically, we have yet to see significant racial integration in American schools, but the larger questions of African American educational attainment and economic opportunity have received considerable research attention in recent years.