Brown V. Board of Education

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Brown v. Board of Education During more than half a century black and white children were separated and didn’t go to the same school. Everything changed with the court decision of the case Brown v. Board of Education. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954, was a United States Supreme Court decision that declared that the state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional. This decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed the segregation. Released on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court's unanimous (9–0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." As a result this segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. As consequence of this ruling the way for integration and the civil rights movement was opened. Background Everything started with the 10-year-old Linda Brown, in Topeka, Kansas, who had to walk a whole mile through a railroad then wait for a school bus to go to a "black elementary school”, even though a white elementary school was only seven blocks away. Therefore, Linda's father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school, but the principal of the school denied the request. Outraged, 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. The NAACP was eager to assist the Browns, as it had long wanted to challenge segregation in public schools. With some other black parents joining Brown, in 1951, the NAACP requested a ruling that would forbid the segregation of Topeka's public schools. The Case At the trial, the NAACP’s main argument was that segregated schools sent the message to black children that they were inferior to whites;

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