Brown v. Board of Education

Kat Wetjen

Brown vs. Board of Education 1

  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) allowed racially segregated schools
  • "Separate but equal"
  • Black children were denied admission to public schools that were attended by white children under laws that required or permitted segregation

"Does the segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis or race deprive the minority children of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment?"

  • Brown v. Board of Education filed against Topeka, Kansas school
  • Plaintiff: Oliver Brown, parent of one of the children who was denied access to Topeka's white schools
  • Federal district court dismissed his claim and ruled that segregated schools were "equal enough"
  • Brown appealed to the Supreme Court

  • Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson decision that allowed state-sponsored segregation
  • 9-0 decision stating that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal"
  • Racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause (14th Amendment of US Constitution)
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Brown v. Board of Education 2

"What means should be used to implement the principles announced in Brown 1?"

  • Decision in Brown 1 declared racial discrimination in public schools unconstitutional
  • Intended to work out mechanisms of desegregation
  • Direct local governments and state schools on how to deal with desegregation
  • Implement the principles of the Supreme Court's decision
  • Act promptly and move forward toward full compliance with all deliberate speed
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