The Brown v. Board ruling declared segregation in schools unconstitutional, therefore promoting integration. Many viewed this as a turning point, the start of a social revolution. However, there is a view that, although positive, the ruling did not do enough to force real change. It is even possible to argue that it increased white opposition, actually hindering the case of Civil Rights. Overall, however, the positive aspects outweighed the negatives, with the psychological effect and legal backing from the court being most important. The significance of Brown directly following the court ruling has been called a ‘Supreme Court Bomb’1, as depicted in an image published five days later in a Richmond paper. The San Francisco Chronicle felt that Brown would have an immediate and great ‘impact of anti-Segregation’, calling it ‘a social revolution’2. Judge Constance Motley called it ‘the catalyst for all the demonstrations’3 that followed. The last of these sources was from an NAACP lawyer, the other two from pro-Civil Rights publications. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that these people wished to promote the success of the ruling, perhaps leading them to exaggerate its significance. By overstating how much they thought would be changed by the court’s decision, they could have been promoting their own hopes. It remains a fact, however, that the ruling did overturn the precedent set by Plessy v. Ferguson sixty years earlier. The Supreme Court went against that ruling’s central idea, ‘separate but equal’, saying it had ‘no place’ in the American constitution, and that ‘separate educational facilities are inherently unequal’4. Willoughby and Paterson claim that Brown managed to ‘end the vice-like grip of the Plessy precedent’. ... ... middle of paper ... ...s, New York, May 22nd 1954.9 Denver Post, Colorado, May 18th 1954.10 Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky, May 18th 1954.11 Paterson and Willoughby, Civil Rights in the USA, p. 119.12 Mark Rathbone, The US Supreme Court and Civil Rights, History Today.13 Extract from President Eisenhower’s letter to a personal friend, 195714 James T. Patterson, The Troubled Legacy of Brown v. Board, p. 7.15 Statement from Conference of Negro Educational Leaders, October 195416 Daily News, Starkville, Mississippi, May 18th 1954.17 Cavalier Daily, Charlottesville, Virginia, May 18th 1954.18 Extract from President Eisenhower’s letter of personal friend, 195719 Tom P. Brady, Black Monday, p.7.20 James T. Patterson, The Troubled Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, 2004, p. 7.21 James T. Patterson, The Troubled Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, 2004, p. 8.
The Supreme Court is perhaps most well known for the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954. By declaring that segregation in schools was unconstitutional, Kevern Verney says a ‘direct reversal of the Plessy … ruling’1 58 years earlier was affected. It was Plessy which gave southern states the authority to continue persecuting African-Americans for the next sixty years. The first positive aspect of Brown was was the actual integration of white and black students in schools. Unfortunately, this was not carried out to a suitable degree, with many local authorities feeling no obligation to change the status quo. The Supreme Court did issue a second ruling, the so called Brown 2, in 1955. This forwarded the idea that integration should proceed 'with all deliberate speed', but James T. Patterson tells us even by 1964 ‘only an estimated 1.2% of black children ... attended public schools with white children’2. This demonstrates that, although the Supreme Court was working for Civil Rights, it was still unable to force change. Rathbone agrees, saying the Supreme Court ‘did not do enough to ensure compliance’3. However, Patterson goes on to say that ‘the case did have some impact’4. He explains how the ruling, although often ignored, acted ‘relatively quickly in most of the boarder s...
“The Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown decision holds up fairly well, however, as a catalyst and starting point for wholesale shifts in perspective” (Branch). This angered blacks, and was a call to action for equality, and desegregation. The court decision caused major uproar, and gave the African American community a boost because segregation in schools was now
Before the decision of Brown v. Board of Education, many people accepted school segregation and, in most of the southern states, required segregation. Schools during this time were supposed to uphold the “separate but equal” standard set during the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson; however, most, if not all, of the “black” schools were not comparable to the “white” schools. The resources the “white” schools had available definitely exceed the resources given to “black” schools not only in quantity, but also in quality. Brown v. Board of Education was not the first case that assaulted the public school segregation in the south. The title of the case was shortened from Oliver Brown ET. Al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. The official titled included reference to the other twelve cases that were started in the early 1950’s that came from South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The case carried Oliver Brown’s name because he was the only male parent fighting for integration. The case of Brown v. Board o...
Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education a civil Rights Milestone and it’s Troubled Legacy. Oxford University Press. New York 2001.
In order to understand the magnitude of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, one must understand the hardships that African-Americans had to endure. For example, the case of Davis Knight “illuminate[d] racially mixed communities [,] delineate[d] the legal and social responses to attempts at racial desegregation and black enfranchisement during the era of the New Deal and World War II” in 1948 (Bynum 248). Davis Knight was a 23 year old man from Mississippi who appeared to be a “white,” but indeed was a “black man, who later married a white woman by the name of Junie Lee Spradley” (247). The case was presented to the Jones County Circuit Court where Knigh...
The case started with a third-grader named Linda Brown. She was a black girl who lived just seen blocks away from an elementary school for white children. Despite living so close to that particular school, Linda had to walk more than a mile, and through a dangerous railroad switchyard, to get to the black elementary school in which she was enrolled. Oliver Brown, Linda's father tried to get Linda switched to the white school, but the principal of that school refuse to enroll her. After being told that his daughter could not attend the school that was closer to their home and that would be safer for Linda to get to and from, Mr. Brown went to the NAACP for help, and as it turned out, the NAACP had been looking for a case with strong enough merits that it could challenge the issue of segregation in pubic schools. The NAACP found other parents to join the suit and it then filed an injunction seeking to end segregation in the public schools in Kansas (Knappman, 1994, pg 466).
The case started in Topeka, Kansas, a black third-grader named Linda Brown had to walk one mile through a railroad switchyard to get to her black elementary school, even though a white elementary school was only seven blocks away. Linda's father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school seven blocks from her house, but the principal of the school refused simply because the child was black. Brown went to McKinley Burnett, the head of Topeka's branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and asked for help (All Deliberate Speed pg 23). The NAACP was eager to assist the Browns, as it had long wanted to challenge segregation in public schools. The NAACP was looking for a case like this because they figured if they could just expose what had really been going on in "separate but equal society" that the circumstances really were not separate but equal, bur really much more disadvantaged to the colored people, that everything would be changed. The NAACP was hoping that if they could just prove this to society that the case would uplift most of the separate but equal facilities. The hopes of this case were for much more than just the school system, the colored people wanted to get this case to the top to abolish separate but equal.
Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown V. Board of Education and Black Americas Struggle for Equality.
The Brown decision has generated numerous writings that are used to understand the meaning of the decision; Brown v. Board of Education,
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. Brown v. Board of Education didn’t just focus on children and education, it also focused on how important equality is even when society claimed that African Americans were treated equal, when they weren’t. This was the case that opened the eyes of many American’s to notice that the separate but equal strategy was in fact unlawful.
The Brown vs Board of Education as a major turning point in African American. Brown vs Board of Education was arguably the most important cases that impacted the African Americans and the white society because it brought a whole new perspective on whether “separate but equal” was really equal. The Brown vs Board of Education was made up of five different cases regarding school segregation. “While the facts of each case are different, the main issue in each was the constitutionality of state-sponsored segregation in public schools ("HISTORY OF BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION") .”
In this landmark Supreme Court decision the Court declared separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional therefore overturning Plessy v. Ferguson. The white south enjoyed their victory with Plessy v. Ferguson for over fifty years before the Supreme Court was able to begin righting their mistake. The long term effect of Plessy v. Ferguson was evident in the fact that blacks did not make much progress towards becoming more educated, informed, and productive citizens since the Thirteenth amendment was adopted. There were gains but overall the gap in prosperity especially in the south between blacks and whites continued to widen. The disparity in the distributions of funding between the two races were extremely evident in education. The advantages that whites gained during this time period placed them in a position to hold financial and educational advantages over blacks that even linger today. The lack of equal education doomed generations of blacks to mediocrity while their white counterparts were able to make huge gains for themselves and their children. This is one of the mains debates about affirmative action. Due to the unfair advantages given to whites, especially during the New Deal and Fair Deal policies of the 1930s and 1940s, the black population’s prosperity fell well behind the nation’s white majority (Katznelson). Brown v. Board of Education was the first step to trying to rectify this situation. This example of how protecting the rights and liberties of a minority can positively affect the majority. For the nation as a whole, having citizens that are productive, prosperous, educated and content will (in the long run) provide a more united prosperous
Brown v. Board of the Education in 1954 was a landmark decision in the education arena. The decision maintained that schools that separated students by the color of their skin could no longer be maintained. The court saw this as necessary, since in their mind schools for black students would always be inferior. This inferiority would not be caused by lack of resources, although that usually was a contributing factor to the poor quality of the school, physically and performance-wise. As the Supreme Court saw it, s...