In 1951, the father of a black student named Linda Brown sued the Board of Education because a white school had prevented Brown from attending a school which was only seven blocks away, compared to the segregated black school she was attending which was more than seven blocks away from her home. Despite losing the first legal battle, Brown’s father did not give up. He found help from the NAACP, a prominent civil rights organisation which appealed on his behalf to the Supreme Court of USA. Following the appeal, in May 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren declared the US Constitution to be ‘colour-blind’ and therefore ordered the Topeka Board of education to end segregation in its schools. This was one of the first major steps in the civil rights movement.
Her father tried to get her into a white school, which was only seven blocks away, but the principle of the school refused to allow her to enroll. Brown went to the head of Topeka’s NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and asked for his help. The NAACP was all eager to help the Browns in their case against the school because they wanted to take on segregation in schools for quite some time. The case was described as, “the right plaintiff at the right time.” By 1951, with other black parents joining the cause, the NAACP pushed for an injunction to end segregation in Topeka’s public schools. When the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas heard their case, the NAACP argued that segregated schools gave the message to black children that they weren’t equal, and naturally inadequate.
However, many southern states found ways around the laws to disenfranchise the black populations. They did this by introducing a ‘Grandfather Clause’, which is that only people whose grandfather voted, gave them the ability to vote. Also literacy test was another method used, which in most ways wasn’t made fairly and even well educated people were disenfranchised and not allowed to vote. However, in 1946 President Truman established The President’s Committee on ‘Civil rights’, producing a report examining the experiences of racial minorities in America. The report was called ‘To Secure These Rights’, this report highlighted the problems facing African Americans and proposed radical changes to make American society better.
This matter was taken to the Supreme Court where it was reasoned that it was illegal to turn away students just because they were black. This case also called the end of segregation in schools. Segregation took part in many other areas of life including public transport. This affected buses and trains. Bus shelters and seats in buses were separate for the whites and blacks, where they sat in different sides of the shelter.
Many Southern states were segregated, they followed the supreme courts decision in 1896; 'Separate but equal' this meant that they were still segregated but blacks had equal rights. Segregation was the separation of white people from black, some states tried to keep control over black people's segregation by; 'Jim crow' laws which kept black people segregated/separated from white, this involved separate schools, toilets and drinking fountains. Desegregation had become a problem in the 1950's, largely because of the racial hatred of white southerners towards blacks, this racial hatred had originated from the attitudes of white people towards black people after slavery was abolished in 1864, many southern states had 'Jim crow' laws which discriminated against African Americans. However, in 1954 the Brown family challenged these laws by suing the city school board for forbidding their 8 year old daughter, who was black, from attending the white school which was nearby, instead Linda Brown was forced to attend the segregated school which was a long distance away. The Brown family's case was brought to the Supreme Court by the NAACP; they were an organisation which fought for the rights of coloured people.
All US citizens had the right to vote, according to the federal law. But some racist states tried their hardest to stop black Americans from voting. They did this by making black people sit a hard literacy test, which was highly unlikely they will pass. This was simply because their education was of a poor quality due to their school being given very little in comparison to the white schools. They also just threatened them not to vote, which was successful because it frightened them away.
Brown v. Board of Education American parents challenged the system of education in the United States which mandated separate schools for their children based solely on race. In Kansas alone there were eleven school integration cases dating from 1881 to 1949, prior to Brown in 1954. In many instances the schools for African American children were substandard facilities with out-of-date textbooks and often no basic school supplies. What was not in question was the dedication and qualifications of the African American teachers and principals assigned to these schools. In response to numerous unsuccessful attempts to ensure equal opportunities for all children, African American community leaders and organizations across the country stepped up efforts to change the educational system.
Under William Anderson, a number of local black organisations were formed in an attempt to desegregate the city. By mid-December, 500 demonstrators had been jailed. Anderson invited King’s help to maintain the movement and secure national publicity for the non-violent protest. The tactics of non-violence however did not work because the Head of Police in Albany, Laurie Pritchett, had learned from previous protests and campaigns that no violence should be used against the protestors to ensure less media coverage and less sympathy for the black protestors. Pritchett went on to arrest protestors but he made sure that the jails were not filled by them.
Board of Education was a landmark decision of the United states Supreme Court that declared state laws saying that denying black people from going to a white public school, denying black children equal educational opportunities was unconstitutional. * When: May, 1954 * Where: Tokepa, Kansas * Why: Because a group of five legal appeals that challenged the “separate but equal” basis for racial segregation in public school. 2. African American Civil Right Movement * Who: African American Soilder. * What: Social movements in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans.
Other states introduced literacy tests as criteria for voting. Literacy testes were not applied fairly and therefore even educated black people were disenfranchised. These were not explicitly racist, but both prevented black Americans from voting. These barriers, which prevented black Americans from voting, meant that black citizens no longer had a voice for their opinion to be heard. This affected how black people would still be treated as second-class citizens through white supremacy.