Board of Education of Topeka was considered a landmark United States Supreme Court case, in which segregation in public schools between blacks and whites was declared unconstitutional. This case overturned the horrendous “separate but equal” statute that was established in 1863 in the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson. Parents of twenty African American students who attended elementary school in the Topeka school district filed this case. They called for the school district to reverse its policy on racial segregation in schools. The lower court admits that segregation in schools is detrimental to African American children, but still denies the plaintiffs relief saying that the schools are separate but substantially equal regarding the buildings, transportation, curriculum, and educational qualifications of teachers.
In Virginia one county did indeed close its public schools. In Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, Governor Orval Faubus defied a federal court order to admit nine black students to Central High School, and President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to enforce desegregation. The event was covered by the national media, and the fate of the Little Rock Nine, the students attempting to integrate the school, dramatized the seriousness of the school desegregation issue to many Americans. Although not all school desegregation was as dramatic as in Little Rock, the desegregation process did proceed-gradually. Frequently schools were desegregated only in theory, because racially segregated neighborhoods led to segregated schools.
A group consisting of Oliver Brown and 12 other parents (20 children involved) wanted equal educational rights and do away with segregation among the school system. Each person was to look for enrollment dates at the “white” schools in their neighborhood and take their children to be admitted. The all white school refused to enroll them because of their race. The families then reported to the NAACP, who they have recruited to help in this legal matter. The Board of Education was in direct violation of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which “guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law”, giving cause to file a class action suit.
In 1957 a group of nine children crossed boundaries that no one had dared to cross before. Standing up for not only themselves, but also an entire race of people, they challenged segregation head on. Despite all the pain and agony they went through, the Little Rock Nine continued to stand against injustice for a better, more equal tomorrow. Although our country has come a long way, there is still much to be done to eliminate segregation. The end to segregation started on May 17, 1954 with the Supreme Court’s ruling in “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that separated public schools for whites and blacks were illegal” (Beals, 1995, p. 12).
There was a large lawsuit about integration in Little Rock in 1952 that wanted to have black students attend an all white school. Unfortunately, a petition was filed opposing black kids going to an all white school. Miraculously ,May 17, 1954 was the surprising day that the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Their ruling stated that segregating public schools made them unequal and was illegal. Segregationists did whatever it was necessary to stop the integration in Central High School.
In May of 1954, the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case had declared the racial segregation of American public schools unconstitutional. The Supreme Court had called for the integration of schools, so that students of any race could attend any school without the concern of the “white-only” labels. The public school system of Little Rock, Arkansas agreed to comply with this new desegregated system, and by a year had a plan to integrate the students within all the public schools of Little Rock. By 1957, nine students had been selected by the Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), chosen according to their outstanding grades and excellent attendance, and had been enrolled in the now-integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. But, the Little Rock Nine, consisting of Jefferson Thomas, Thelma Mothershed, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Elizabeth Eckford, Minnijean Brown, Ernest Green, Melba Pattillo Beals, Gloria Ray Karlmark, and Terrence Roberts, faced the angered, white segregationist students and adults upon their enrollment at Central High School.
The Ocean Hill Brownsville school controversy was a case study of race relations during the 1960’s. This predominantly black area wished to have jurisdiction over their schools’ operations and curricula. In 1967, the superintendent of schools granted Ocean Hill Brownsville “community control” of their district. The Board of Education’s action was part of a new decentralization policy that wanted to disperse New York City’s political powers locally. Once in place, the Unit Administrator, Rhody McCoy, fired several teachers inciting one of the most profound racial standoffs in the city’s history.
The results of the battle for nine African American children to attend Central High School (Little Rock, Arkansas) in 1957 promoted social advance for the permanent desegregation of public school systems. However, even with this nationally recognized social advance, the concept of “American character” varied between blacks and whites due to racial and social inequality. Back in 1896, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racial discrimination was constitutional. This decision gave the states permission to segregate citizens by race and to operate “separate but equal” facilities all around. Terrence Roberts, in his novel Lessons from Little Rock, shares his first-hand experience of neglect from society.
African Americans are still facing segregation today that was thought to have ended many years ago. Brown v. Board of Education declared the decision of having separate schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. As Brown v. Board of Education launches its case, we see how it sets the infrastructure to end racial segregation in all public spaces. Today, Brown v. Board of Education has made changes to our educational system and democracy, but hasn’t succeeded to end racial segregation due to the cases still being seen today. Brown v. Board of Education to this day remains one of the most important cases that African Americans have brought to the surface for the good of the United States.
The NAACP recruited Marshall Thurgood, a future Court Justice, to represent them. On December 8, 1953, Thurgood argued that segregation and inequality were equivalent concepts. The segregation policy allowed by the decision of the Plessy v. Ferguson case was indistinguishable from the Black Codes. The Fourteenth Amendment had stripped the states of power to enforce these Co... ... middle of paper ... ...hen I used to go to Horace Mann School I thought that white people were different. When I saw the colored kids at Horace Mann acting silly or doing something that I didn’t think they should do, I said to myself that they did this just because they were colored.