Segregation Pros And Cons

2324 Words 10 Pages
The United States of the 1950s was rife with controversy, uncertainty, and tension. Much of this resulted from the international problems that plagued the country, largely due to the end of World War II and the onset of the Cold War. But domestically, the Civil Rights movement was heating up and applying pressure on the US government more significantly than it had in several decades. In 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the long-held rule of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which had held that separate did not mean unequal. For the first time in 1954, the Court decided that separate did, indeed, mean unequal, and that this was unconstitutional with regard to public schools. That decision and the decision of Brown II, which followed …show more content…
Pattillo had grown up with segregation and the Jim Crow laws that were so prevalent in Southern states. “Nobody presents you with a handbook when you’re teething and says ‘Here’s how you must behave as a second class citizen.’ Instead, the humiliating expectations and traditions of segregation creep over you slowly stealing a teaspoonful of your self-esteem each day,” Pattillo, now Pattillo Beals, writes in her autobiography Warriors Don’t …show more content…
Board of Education was a landmark case in American history, and certainly would be in the running for most influential Supreme Court case to American progress ever. However, this influence did not come about week, year, or even decade after the decision was made. It would take years before the policy of “separate but equal” would be completely dismantled in public schools across the nation, even in the most resistant districts, those in the Deep South. This slow change came about, for one, because of the inability of the Supreme Court to enforce the ruling in any effective way. Because of the importance of having a unanimous vote in the case of Brown, nothing was provided for by way of enforcement – and little would be provided in the next decade to compel school districts to integrate. For two, the lukewarm stance of then-president Dwight D. Eisenhower failed to give the civil rights movement and the integration of public schools the support and federal push that may have helped the desegregation process to progress faster. Eisenhower believed that there was little that the government could do for integration because it couldn’t change public opinion, thus he only intervened on the part of African Americans when it was absolutely necessary to keep the public peace and order. Finally, the mindsets of most white Southerners, including those involved in state and local governments, were so anti-black and segregationist that it was very difficult for change

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