Even though most people only know of the famous Brown v. Board of Education case, many other cases also took a major part in overturning the harsh laws that African Americans faced for a long period of time in this country. Brown v. Board of Education was the most important Supreme Court decision of the 20th century (National Park). Without this case, the education system and other segregated facilities might not have ever changed through the course of history (Kirk). Not only was this one person fighting the Board of Education, but it consisted of multiple cases put together to take to the Supreme Court. This shows that lots of people had the same feeling towards the subject at hand. These various cases and the people involved in each provided a change for the future of segregation, especially in the South (McBride). Brown v. Board of Education was a major part in changing the education system for the better. Cases leading up to the court case in 1954 showed that even though change was coming slowly, things would be right soon.
At first, the court case Plessy v. Ferguson established the “separate but equal” policy (Kirk). This controversial case involved Homer Plessy, who was arrested and jailed for sitting in the “white” car on an East Louisiana Railroad. However, in 1896, he brought his situation to court where Justice Henry Brown wrote:
" ... The object of the Fourteenth Amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either."
The court later on decided that these were horrific consequences put on Plessy and that they violated the 14th amendment (Administrative Office). Other justices agreed that having “separate” facilities for the two races would be constitutional as long as they were “equal.” Not only was this just for the use of railroads, but also for most of public life. This doctrine stood firm until 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education arose and these issues would be changed forever (Educational Broadcasting).
Before the Supreme Court case of Brown, many other cases set the stage for the history changing case. The earliest reported case of civil rights was Roberts v. City of Boston. In this case in 1849, slavery was just abolished and schools in Boston were not segregated (Brown Foundation). According to the Foundation, records showed that African Americans were harassed and had a disadvantage in school. Also, many people gave an effort to have segregated schooling, but it was denied by the state at first. The authorities claimed that “colored students were a privilege to have in school,” making this case unsuccessful (Brown Foundation). Another series of cases leading up to Brown were the Kansas Cases. These took place between the years of 1881-1949. African...