Brown v. Board of Education

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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas was a milestone in American history, as it began the long process of racial integration, starting with schools. Segregated schools were not equal in quality, so African-American families spearheaded the fight for equality. Brown v. Board stated that public schools must integrate. This court decision created enormous controversy throughout the United States. Without this case, the United States may still be segregated today. Although the Fourteenth Amendment, when adopted in 1868, gave certain rights to blacks, including citizenship, equal protection of law and other freedoms, African-Americans were considered inferior by whites in this country. In 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson officially made segregation legal, and put “separate but equal” into effect. African-Americans were excluded from hotels, restaurants, theatres and schools. African-Americans had lower paying jobs than did whites. Accumulated frustration led blacks to call for dramatic social change. (Good, 8-10) African-Americans endured poor academic conditions throughout the entire United States, not just in the south. In Prince Edward County, Virginia, the segregated school had no nurse, lockers, gym or cafeteria. In Clarendon County, South Carolina, buses were not available to the African-American school, but were available to the white schools. In Wilmington, Delaware, no extra curricular activities or buses were offered to the African-American school. In Washington DC, the situation in segregated schools was the same as in the other states, but the textbooks were outdated. (Good, 21-34) In Topeka, Kansas, the school for African-American children appeared to be equal to that of the white school. However, the school was overcr... ... middle of paper ... ...v. Ferguson. After Brown v. Board, the government could not support segregation because “Separate but equal” was not in effect. However, the most obvious and rewarding result of the case was the integration in public schools in the entire United States, even though the desegregation was a long process. Works Cited Benoit, Peter. Brown v. Board of Education. New York: Children’s Press, 2013 Davidson, James West, et al. The American Nation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003 Good, Diane L. Brown v. Board of Education. New York: Children’s Press, 2013 Smith, Alonzo N. “Project Essay” Separate is not equal: Brown v. Board of Education. URL: Smithsonian Institution, “Brown v. Board of Education.” Separate is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education. URL:

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