The Brown vs Board of Education case began in Topeka, Kansas in 1951. African American parents attempted to enroll their children in the all-white public schools. The school district refused to allow the children to enroll, citing the separate but equal doctrine. The parents sued the school district, and the case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, and the Brown vs Board of Education case is considered one of the most
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The fight for equal education had been going on for years before the famous Brown v. Board of Education case reached the Supreme Court. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was working hard to end segregation in schools and other areas of public life, but they knew they needed a strong legal argument to win their case. They found it in the story of a little girl named Linda Brown.
Linda Brown was an African American student in Topeka, Kansas. In 1950, she tried to enroll in the all-white school closest to her home, but she was turned away because of her race. The NAACP decided to use Linda’s story as the basis for a new desegregation lawsuit. In 1951, they filed Brown v. Board of Education, a class action lawsuit that challenged segregation in public schools across the United States.
The case made its way through the lower courts, but it wasn’t until 1954 that it reached the Supreme Court. On May 17th of that year, the Court issued its landmark ruling: segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The decision in Brown v. Board of Education was a major victory for civil rights activists, and it helped set the stage for even more progress in the years that followed.
What Was the Plessy v. Ferguson Case?
Plessy v. Ferguson, case in which the U.S. Supreme Court, on May 18, 1896, by a 7–1 majority (one justice did not participate), upheld the constitutionality of state laws that segregated public facilities under the doctrine of “separate but equal.”
The judicial opinion was written by Associate Justice Henry Billings Brown, who stated that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution did not outlaw segregation per se; rather, it prohibited only “undue” legislation that sought to abridge the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizens or to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the “equal protection of its laws.” Thus, as long as public facilities were equal in quality—even if they were separate—segregation was permissible under the Constitution.
What Happened After the Plessy v. Ferguson Case?
After the Plessy v. Ferguson case, states began to pass laws that required racial segregation in all public areas. These laws were called ” Jim Crow ” laws.
The Jim Crow laws affected every aspect of life for black Americans. They could not use the same public restrooms, drink from the same water fountains, or ride in the same sections of buses as white people. In some states, they could not even marry white people.
The Brown v. Board of Education case began when a group of black parents in Topeka, Kansas tried to enroll their children in an all-white school. The school district refused to let the children enroll, so the parents sued the district.
The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1954 that segregated schools were “inherently unequal” and violated the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
Who Was Oliver Brown?
Oliver Brown was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education, which resulted in the 1954 Supreme Court decision that found separate but equal public schools to be unconstitutional. Brown was not originally part of the group of plaintiffs in the case. He became involved only after his daughter, Linda, was denied admission to a whites-only elementary school.
Why Was the Case Important?
The case was important because it helped to end segregation in public schools. Prior to the case, many public schools were segregated, meaning that children of different races were not allowed to attend school together. This was unfair to minority children, who often had to go to inferior schools with less money and fewer resources. The Brown case changed all of this, and helped to usher in a new era of integration and equality in public education.
What Happened After the Case?
Despite the ruling, schools were not immediately desegregated. The Court’s decision said that schools should be integrated “with all deliberate speed.” This phrase gave southern states time to come up with plans to delay or prevent integration. In many places, violent resistance to the Court’s decision occurred. White parents withdrew their children from public schools, and set up all-white private schools instead. White students held protests and boycotts against integrating their schools. Some states even passed laws that made it illegal for black and white students to attend the same school.