The Significance Of Brown V. Board Of Education

1959 words - 8 pages

In 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States was confronted with the controversial Brown v. Board of Education case that challenged segregation in public education. Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark Supreme Court case because it called into question the morality and legality of racial segregation in public schools, a long-standing tradition in the Jim Crow South, and threatened to have monumental and everlasting implications for blacks and whites in America. The Brown v. Board of Education case is often noted for initiating racial integration and launching the civil rights movement. In 1951, Oliver L. Brown, his wife Darlene, and eleven other African American parents filed a class-action lawsuit against the Board of Education of Topeka, and sued them for denying their colored children the right to attend segregated white schools. They sought to change the policy of racial segregation in their school district. The plaintiffs collaborated with the leadership of the local Topeka NAACP to overturn segregation in public schools. In the fall of 1951, the parents tried to enroll their children into the neighborhood schools, but they were denied enrollment in the white schools and told to attend segregated black schools. The District Court noted that segregation in public education had a harmful effect on black children, but denied the need to desegregate schools because “the physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors” in Topeka, Kansas were all equal. The District Court confirmed the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson by the Supreme Court in 1896 and upheld state laws permitting, or requiring, segregation in public education.
The battle for civil rights has deep roots in American history, and African Americans have been fighting for their equal rights ever since the birth of our nation. This issue was so divisive that it even tore our country apart during the Civil War. The Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 abolished slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 granted African Americans citizenship and equal protection under the law, and the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 granted African Americans the right to vote. These amendments were passed in an effort to combat racism and reshape public perception of blacks, however, these laws were hard to enforce and Southern states developed their own laws like the Black Codes to control the newly freed slaves. Jim Crow-era laws in the South like the poll tax and literacy tests prevented many blacks in the South from voting. Anyone who tried to break Southern traditions was subject to violence and intimidation from the Ku Klux Klan.
The Great Migration was the mass movement of millions of African Americans to the Northeast, Midwest, and West around 1910 to1930. African Americans moved away from the South to escape segregation and violence in search of better opportunities. With the U.S. entering into World War I and troops being sent overseas, more job opportunities opened up for African...

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