Brown V Board Of Education Summary

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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas The story of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas is not a simple story. True it can and has been summarized into a single page for high school students but these summaries are often so simplified as to be almost misleading if not incorrect. This is a story rooted deep in the history of our country and in order to understand its context and impact, we must, in brief, look at that history. First, there was slavery. Slavery in the New World was unique in history in that it applied to only one race, the black race. In other slave holding societies anyone of any race could become a slave. In the New world, particularly in the United States, that status was reserved for blacks. In 1857,…show more content…
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” 14th amendment (1992). Unfortunately, this amendment did not specify that all citizens be given equal access to public and private facilities. This loop hole allowed the creation of what were referred to as Jim Crow laws, laws that specifically and unapologetically discriminated against African-Americans. It must be noted that these laws were state laws, untested by the Supreme Court. In 1896 this changed. A suit was brought by Homer Plessy challenging segregation practices in Louisiana. According to Zimmerman, 1997, “In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on intrastate railroads was constitutional. This decision provided the legal foundation to justify many other actions by state and local governments to socially separate blacks and…show more content…
By the early 1950’s, there were seventeen states in the union “which had legal apartheid--segregation mandated by law” (Orfield, 2001). There were sixteen states in which such segregation was illegal. It must be remembered that Plessy vs. Fergusson did not demand that segregation be implemented; it merely allowed states and local authorities to implement them as they chose. The “separate but equal” clause in Plessy vs. Fergusson proved to be inadequate to ensure African-Americans equality of access.. In segregated districts, conditions for African-American students were markedly inferior to those of white students. In addition, African-American students sometimes had to travel long distances to get to their schools bypassing white schools that were barred to them. The principle was upheld at all levels. In 1950, according to Education: Separate… (1950): Federal Judge Johnson J. Hayes ruled that: the eleven-year-old law school of the North Carolina College for negroes, in Durham (26 students, six professors), is essentially just as good as the University of North Carolina’s 105-year-old law school at Chapel Hill (280 students, 10 professors) Therefore, concluded the court, the Chapel Hill law school has the right to turn Negro applicants

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