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why was brown v board of education significant

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, case in which on May 17, 1954, the
in public schools violated the to the, which prohibits the states from denying of the laws to any person within their jurisdictions. The decision declared that separate educational facilities for white and students were inherently unequal. It thus rejected as inapplicable to public education the Бseparate but equalБ doctrine, advanced by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), according to which laws separate public facilities for whites and African Americans do not violate the equal-protection clause if the facilities are approximately equal. Although the 1954 decision strictly applied only to public schools, it implied that segregation was not permissible in other public facilities. Considered one of the most important rulings in the courtБs history, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka helped to inspire the American of the late 1950s and 1960s. The Supreme Court: Civil Rights Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka were two of the U. S. Supreme Court's historic decisions on civil rights. Encyclopцdia Britannica, Inc. The case was heard as a consolidation of four suits filed in four states by the (NAACP) on behalf of African American elementary and students who had been denied admission to all-white public schools. In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1951), Briggs v. Elliott (1951), and Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (1952), in Kansas, and, respectively, ruled on the basis of Plessy that the plaintiffs had not been deprived of equal protection because the schools they attended were comparable to the all-white schools or would become so upon the completion of improvements ordered by the district court. In Gebhart v. Belton (1952), however, the, also relying on Plessy, found that the plaintiffsБ right to equal protection had been violated because the African American schools were inferior to the white schools in almost all relevant respects.


The defendants in the district court decisions appealed directly to the Supreme Court, while those in Gebhart were granted (a writ for the reexamination of an action of a lower court). Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was argued on December 9, 1952; the attorney who argued on behalf of the plaintiffs was, who later served as an associate of the Supreme Court (1967Б91). The case was reargued on December 8, 1953, to address the question of whether the framers of the Fourteenth would have understood it to be inconsistent with racial segregation in public education. The 1954 decision found that the historical evidence bearing on the issue was inconclusive. Writing for the court, Chief Justice argued that the question of whether racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal, and thus beyond the scope of the separate but equal doctrine, could be answered only by considering Бthe effect of segregation itself on public education. Б Citing the Supreme CourtБs rulings in Sweatt v. Painter McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (1950), which recognized БintangibleБ inequalities between African American and all-white schools at the graduate level, Warren held that such inequalities also existed between the schools in the case before him, despite their equality with respect to БtangibleБ factors such as buildings and curricula. Specifically, he agreed with a finding of the Kansas district court that the policy of forcing African American children to attend separate schools solely because of their race created in them a feeling of inferiority that undermined their motivation to learn and deprived them of educational opportunities they would enjoy in racially schools. This finding, he noted, was Бamply supportedБ by contemporary psychological research. He concluded that Бin the field of public education, the doctrine of Бseparate but equalБ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.


Б In a subsequent opinion on the question of relief, commonly referred to as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (II), argued April 11Б14, 1955, and decided on May 31 of that year, Warren ordered the district courts and local school authorities to take appropriate steps to public schools in their jurisdictions Бwith all deliberate speed. Б Public schools in Southern states, however, remained almost completely segregated until the late 1960s. According to the Jim Crow laws, segregated facilities were okay because they were separate but equal. In 1896, the Supreme Court considered the validity of 'separate but equal' in the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Homer Plessy was a native of Louisiana, a black man of Creole descent, who challenged segregation by intentionally sitting in the white section of a rail car. Plessy was arrested for his actions, and his case eventually reached the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that as long as the separate facilities were equal, they were constitutional. But as anyone who ever had to use 'colored' restrooms or schools knew, these facilities were consistently inferior and subpar. This was the claim of the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education. Contrary to popular belief, Brown v. Board of Education actually consisted of five individual but comparable court cases that the Supreme Court ruled on simultaneously. In addition to Brown v. Board of Education, they included: Oliver L. Brown et al v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas Briggs v. Elliot, Davis v. Board of Education of Prince Edward County, Virginia Boiling v. Sharpe Gebhart v. Ethel While the cases were different in nature, they all made the same claim: separate is not equal. Plaintiffs' cases were handled by the famous civil rights lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The plaintiffs were primarily parents of students of color. They claimed their children were not receiving educations equal to their white counterparts.


The Supreme Court finally ruled on these cases on May 14th, 1954. It found that, in regards to public education, the doctrine of separate but equal had no place and was not constitutional. In Brown v. Board of Education, schools had to be integrated, a change that did not take place overnight. Many school districts instituted plans of gradual integration. Often, these efforts were met by resistance and violence. For example, in 1957, the Little Rock Nine braved an angry crowd as the first students to integrate a school in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education not only helped to integrate America's public schools but also served as an important catalyst in bringing change to other areas of the public domain, where the separate but equal doctrine remained. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas was a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that overturned the 'separate but equal' approach to public schooling. Segregated schools, as well as public restrooms and transportation, drinking fountains, and restaurants, came about as the result of Jim Crow laws. Southern states passed Jim Crow laws in response to the Civil War Amendments to the U. S. Constitution and with the intention of preventing African Americans from fully integrating into white society. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments abolished slavery, guaranteed all citizens equal protection under the law, and gave African-American men the right to vote. Plaintiffs in the Brown v. Board of Education case were represented by the famous civil rights lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. In its decision, the Supreme Court reversed the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, which originally upheld the 'separate but equal' laws. When you are done, you should be able to: Recall the ruling of the Plessy v. Ferguson case State the central claim to the cases included in Brown v. Board of Education

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