Brown V. Board Of Education

Discusses the 1954 Supreme Court decision against school desegregation. Examines background, parties involved, appeals, arguments, immediate & long-term impact.

Until the mid-1950’s, citizens of the United States lived separated by race. Many people today (with the exception of older adults) were not alive to remember this period in time, and cannot even begin to picture living completely different lives from minorities. However, the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education changed this standard for future generations, and was a landmark for blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. When Oliver Brown defeated the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education, the future of African-Americans took a giant step forward towards equality, and white children would no longer be raised how their parents had been in the past.
In 1896, the Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson began a long battle about separate but equal facilities and accommodations. More simply put: racial segregation. The case dealt with Homer Plessy, a man who was a one-eighth black man attempting to ride in an all-white railcar in Louisiana. In short, the railroad operators demanded he ride in the car for minorities and arrested him when he refused. He fought this all the way up to the national level, which arguably began the modern Civil Rights Movement. Ferguson received seven out of the eight justice’s votes, and the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown. However the dissenting opinion written by Justice John Marshall Harlan argued that [i]n the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens (Thompson).The court’s decision upheld that separate but equal was legal as long as blacks were offered the exact same quality of services that whites were. This historical decision defined race relations for many decades to come, and began what we know as the Civil Rights Movement for African-Americans.

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