What Did Brown v. Board of Education Do?

The Brown v. Board of Education decision was a landmark moment in the history of the United States. It ended segregation in public schools and helped to ensure that all children would have equal access to education.

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Introduction

The landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education (1954) was one of the most influential court cases in American history. The ruling not only declared segregated schools to be unconstitutional, it also helped lead to the desegregation of public places and the end of legal segregation in the United States.

The case began in Topeka, Kansas, where a African-American girl named Linda Brown had to walk more than a mile to get to her all-black elementary school, even though there was a white elementary school just seven blocks from her home. Brown’s father attempted to enroll her in the white school but was turned away because of the color of her skin.

Brown’s father then teamed up with other African-American parents and filed a lawsuit against the Topeka Board of Education, claiming that segregated schools were unequal and violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection under the law.” The case eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Brown and her fellow plaintiffs.

In its ruling, the Court declared that “separate but equal” public facilities were unconstitutional and ordered schools across America to begin integrating immediately. The decision was a turning point in American history, helping to bring about an end to legal segregation and discrimination against minorities.

The Plessy v. Ferguson Decision

The Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 allowed state-sponsored segregation under the separate but equal doctrine. This doctrine said that as long as blacks and whites had access to equal facilities, segregation was constitutional. In practice, however, blacks almost always had inferior facilities.

The case of Brown v. Board of Education challenged the separate but equal doctrine. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that separate but equal was unconstitutional and that segregated schools were inherently unequal. The Brown decision paved the way for desegregation and the civil rights movement.

The Brown v. Board of Education Decision

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The Court ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional and violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection under the law.”

The case arose after Linda Brown, a third-grade student in Topeka, was denied admission to her local elementary school because she was African American. The school she was forced to attend was over six miles away from her home and operated on a double shift schedule due to overcrowding.

Brown’s father, Oliver Brown, attempted to enroll her in the white elementary school closest to their home but was denied. He then filed a lawsuit against the Topeka Board of Education, claiming that segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The case made its way through the lower courts before finally reaching the Supreme Court in December of 1952. Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the Court, which held that “separate but equal” public schools were unconstitutional.

The Court argued that segregated schools sent a message to African American children that they were inferior to their white counterparts and that this had a detrimental effect on their educational opportunities. The decision overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, a 1896 Supreme Court ruling that had established “separate but equal” as a constitutional standard for public facilities.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision paved the way for desegregation of public schools across America and helped fight discrimination against African Americans in other areas such as housing and employment

The Impact of Brown v. Board of Education

The decision in Brown v. Board of Education was a monumental moment in the history of the United States. The case ended legal segregation in public schools, making it possible for all children to get a quality education regardless of their race.

In the years since the decision was handed down, progress has been made towards ensuring that all children have equal access to education. However, there is still work to be done in order to achieve true equity in our education system.

The impact of Brown v. Board of Education can still be felt today, and it is an important part of our country’s history.

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