Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone Essay

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“’The Supreme Court decision [on Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas] is the greatest victory for the Negro people since the Emancipation Proclamation,’ Harlem’s Amsterdam News exclaimed. ‘It will alleviate troubles in many other fields.’ The Chicago Defender added, ‘this means the beginning of the end of the dual society in American life and the system…of segregation which supports it.’”

Oliver Brown, father of Linda Brown decided that his third grade daughter should not have to walk one mile through a railroad switchyard just to get to the bus stop before she could even get to the separate Negro school for her area. He attempted to enroll her in the white public school only three blocks from their home, but her
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Residency was only possible if a white employer agreed to take responsibility for his employee’s conduct.” Such codes made it possible for segregation to continue and racial tensions to grow. Shortly after the Black Codes, the Jim Crow laws were enacted completely prohibiting the co-existence of blacks and whites. Blacks could not enter white hospitals, nor could black children attend the same schools, or drink out of the same water fountains as white children. These laws took the Black Codes of 1865 to another level, making complete segregation a real possibility
Following the Black Codes and the Jim Crow Laws, further decisions by the Supreme Court encouraged segregation and even helped make it an official reality. After Reconstruction came to an end in 1890, a thirty-year old shoemaker from New Orleans, Louisiana who was 1/8th black, yet was considered black by the state of Louisiana, took matters into his own hands and bought a first class ticket on the train. He was challenging the new Separate Car Act that called for blacks to sit in a separate cart from the whites. He was arrested for refusing to move to the colored car. The argument was that Plessey’s civil rights had been violated by asking him to move to the colored car. In 1896, the Plessy vs. Ferguson case was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against Plessy with an eight person majority. The decision provided for the expansion of “separate but equal” to aspects…

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