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Brown Vs Topeka Essays

  • In 1954 case Brown v. Board, Supreme Court ordered integration of segregated American public schools "with all deliberate speed"
  • Brown overturned the segregationist legal doctrine of "separate but equal" established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  • Brown held that separate was inherently unequal

In 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education the United States Supreme Court reversed policies affirmed nearly sixty years earlier in Plessy v. Ferguson and ordered the integration of America's schools. The older case had held that the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection could be reconciled with segregation so long as the facilities made accessible to people were "equal." In Plessy, the specific issue was railroad cars, but the broader policy of separate but equal was applied to all sorts of institutions, including schools.

But in Brown the Court held that separate was inherently unequal; the very process of separating one group of children from another sent a harmful message. In the words of Chief Justice Earl Warren, "to separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone." Consequently, the Court said, America's schools must set about the task of integration "with all deliberate speed."25

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Brown Versus The Board of Education

The Brown versus Board of Education decision was an immense influence on desegregation of schools and a milestone in the movement for equality between the blacks and whites that continues today. The Brown versus Board of Education case was not the first of its type. Since the early 50's, five separate cases were filed dealing with the desegregation of schools. In all but one of these cases, the schools for whites were finer than the schools for the blacks. The black people argued that this situation was not right and unconstitutional (Dudley, 1).

When the civil war ended in 1865, Congress passed the 14th amendment that stated that all people born in the United States are considered…show more content…

In 1911, a group of activists decided to form a group to fight for equality. This group became the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or the NAACP. In 1939 the NAACP set up a branch called the Legal Defense Fund, which worked to end segregation through legal actions. (Good, 16) The LDF took many cases to the Supreme Courts where most rulings were for the NAACP due to the unequal facilities between white and black schools. In 1952, the NAACP had three cases in the Supreme Court, which was rescheduled, to be heard a second time in 1953. By 1953 two more cases had been added and the 5 cases were known as Brown v. Board of Education. These five cases were: Bulah v. Gebhard, Davis v. Prince Edward County, Briggs v. Elliot, Brown v. Board of Education, and Bolling v. Sharpe (Good, 4).

Linda Carol Brown was eight years old in the summer of 1950 when her father was told that Linda wouldn't be able to attend the Sumner Elementary School, in Topeka Kansas, due to her race. When finding this out Reverend Brown, Linda's father teamed up with other black families and sought help from the NAACP. They tried to appeal to the school board, but it didn't help. On February 28th of 1951 the battle begun when Reverend Brown filed his suit in the United States District Court as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

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