Brown vs. Board of Education Paper

2399 Words Oct 14th, 2011 10 Pages
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka For much of the ninety years preceding the Brown case, race relations in the U.S. had been dominated by racial segregation. This policy had been endorsed in 1896 by the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which held that as long as the separate facilities for the separate races were "equal," segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment ("no State shall... deny to any person... the equal protection of the laws.") In the early 1950's, racial segregation in public schools was the norm across America. Although all the schools in a given district were supposed to be equal, most black schools were far inferior to their white counterparts. In Topeka, Kansas, a …show more content…
On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren read the decision of the unanimous Court:
"We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does...We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court struck down the "separate but equal" doctrine of Plessy for public education, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and required the desegregation of schools across America. The plaintiffs in Brown asserted that this system of racial separation, while masquerading as providing separate but relatively equal treatment of both white and black Americans, instead perpetuated inferior accommodations, services, and treatment for black Americans. Racial segregation in education varied widely from the 17 states that required racial segregation to the 16

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