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Oliver Brown's Case: The Brown V. Board Of Education

Satisfactory Essays
For fifty five years, Americans accepted segregation between the African American and the white race. In the Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that public facilities that are “separate but equal” do not violate the jurisdiction of the Fourteenth Amendment. Due to this ruling, all spaces including educational facilities in the South were expectedly segregated. However, in 1951, that assumption was uprooted. Oliver Brown, an African American father, attempted to register his daughter Linda in an all-white public school in Topeka, Kansas; expectedly, he and his daughter were turned away. Brown immediately took the matter to court with the assistance of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Rejected by the district court, the case was taken up to the Supreme Court. The attack on segregation was based upon the clauses of the Fifth Amendment including the Due Process Clause. The case also considered the impact of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Around the same time, four other similar lawsuits appealed to the Court, originating from Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Court grouped the five cases into one, naming it after Oliver Brown. The Brown v. Board of Education case was then reargued in 1953.1
The Justices agreed to hear both arguments of the case. 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...

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...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. Now... I see that white children do silly things too. Just like there are dumb colored children there are some dumb whites. There are some average colored and there are some average whites, and there are some smart whites and some smart colored. I guess what I have learned is that they are not so different and we aren’t so different.”34
The hardships that she and her classmates went through changed the outlook of all races. Not only did the Nine students inspire future students at Little Rock but those in surrounding districts, those in surrounding states, those across the South, and those across the country.
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