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Brown v. Board of Education - Wikipedia, Brown v. board of education (1954) essay

Brown v. board of education (1954) essay

The Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision on May 17, 1954. It held that school segregation violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The following year the Court ordered desegregation “with all deliberate speed.”

The suit called for the school district to reverse its policy of racial segregation. The Topeka Board of Education operated separate elementary schools under an 1879 Kansas law, which permitted (but did not require) districts to maintain separate elementary school facilities for black and white students in 12 communities with populations over 15,000. The plaintiffs had been recruited by the leadership of the Topeka NAACP . Notable among the Topeka NAACP leaders were the chairman McKinley Burnett ; Charles Scott, one of three serving as legal counsel for the chapter; and Lucinda Todd .

The justices then assessed the equality of the facilities that the Board of Education of Topeka provided for the education of African American children against those provided for white children.  Ruling that they were substantially equal in “tangible factors” that could be measured easily, (such as “buildings, curricula, and qualifications and salaries of teachers), they concluded that the Court must instead examine the more subtle, intangible effect of segregation on the system of public education.

The . Supreme Court ruling in the five combined cases known only as Oliver L. Brown et. al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka, (KS) et. al. was a monumental judicial turning point for this nation. The legal challenge was originally led by Charles Hamilton Houston and later Thurgood Marshall along with a formidable legal team. The Brown decision dismantled the legal framework for racial segregation.

In the instant cases … there are findings below that the Negro and white schools involved have been equalized, or are being equalized, with respect to buildings, curricula, qualifications and salaries of teachers, and other “tangible” factors. Our decision, therefore, cannot turn on merely a comparison of these tangible factors in the Negro and white schools involved in each of the cases. We must look instead to the effect of segregation itself on public education.

The story of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in public schools, is one of hope and courage. When the people agreed to be plaintiffs in the case, they never knew they would change history. The people who make up this story were ordinary people. They were teachers, secretaries, welders, ministers and students who simply wanted to be treated equally. Read More

The  Brown  decision was truly significant because it overturned the separate but equal doctrine established by the Plessy decision. While previously the 13th Amendment to the  Constitution  was interpreted so that equality before the law could be met through segregated facilities, with Brown this was no longer true. The  14th Amendment  guarantees equal protection under the law, and the Court ruled that separate facilities based on race were ipso facto unequal.

After the Supreme Court decided the original Brown case , it planned to hear arguments during its next court session about just how school de-segregation was going to happen. [3] Segregation in United States schools had existed for centuries . The Court understood that it would not be easy to get the states to follow its ruling and de-segregate their schools.

* Answers to the background questions, vocabulary, and activities can be found in the FOR TEACHERS ONLY tab under each case.

Oliver Brown was an African American parent whose child was denied enrollment in a Topeka, Kansas, white school. Brown argued that the schools for the black children were not, and would never be, equal to those of the white children, and that this segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment . After Brown's case was dismissed by the federal district court, he appealed to the Supreme Court. [2]

The Plessy Decision Although the Declaration of Independence stated that "All men are created equal," due to the institution of slavery, this statement was not to be ...

In 1951, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) helped the parents file a class action lawsuit . [5] [6] In 1896, the Supreme Court had ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that segregation was legal, as long as separate places for blacks and whites were "separate but equal." [7] The NAACP's lawyers argued that the white and black schools in Topeka were not "separate but equal." [8]

A class action suit was filed against the Board of Education of the city of Topeka, Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas in 1951. The plaintiffs consisted of thirteen parents of twenty children who attended the Topeka School District. They filed the suit hoping that the school district would change its policy of racial segregation.

The ruling constitutionally sanctioned laws barring African Americans from sharing the same buses, schools and other public facilities as whites—known as “Jim Crow” laws—and established the “separate but equal” doctrine that would stand for the next six decades.

The plaintiffs contend that segregated public schools are not "equal" and cannot be made "equal," and that hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws. Because of the obvious importance of the question presented, the Court took jurisdiction. [ Footnote 2 ] Argument was heard in the 1952 Term, and reargument was heard this Term on certain questions propounded by the Court. [ Footnote 3 ]

Sadly, as a result of the Plessy decision, in the early twentieth century the Supreme Court continued to uphold the legality of Jim Crow laws and other forms of racial discrimination. In the case of Cumming v. Richmond (Ga.) County Board of Education (1899), for instance, the Court refused to issue an injunction preventing a school board from spending tax money on a white high school when the same school board voted to close down a black high school for financial reasons. Moreover, in Gong Lum v. Rice (1927), the Court upheld a school's decision to bar a person of Chinese descent from a "white" school.

Supreme Court ruling ( Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ) in 1954 that declared racial segregation of public schools to be unconstitutional. Instead of reducing prejudice and discrimination, however, the decision increased fear among residents and led to the suburban flight of many middle-class European American families from…

The case was filed in February 1951. The . District Court ruled against the plaintiffs, but placed in the record its acceptance of the psychological evidence that African American children were adversely affected by segregation. These findings later were quoted by the . Supreme Court in its 1954 opinion.


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brown v. board of education (1954) essay
brown v. board of education (1954) essay

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