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National Signing Day is over and the reigning AAAAAA Champions, the Colquitt County Packers, had 25 players sign letters of intent on National Signing Day.
During the 1940s, psychologists Kenneth Bancroft Clark and his wife, Mamie Phipps Clark designed a test to study the psychological effects of segregation on black children. As the nation's capital became more and more populated by blacks in the first half of the twentieth century, the schools in District of Columbia became more segregated. In 1949, the state NAACP in South Carolina sought twenty local residents in Clarendon County to sign a petition for equal education. In June 1950, shortly after the Sweatt, McLaurin, and Henderson victories, Thurgood Marshall convened a conference of the NAACP's board of directors and affiliated attorneys to determine the next step in the legal campaign. Brief of the Attorneys for the Plaintiffs (Charles E. On June 25, 1951, Robert Carter and Jack Greenberg argued the Brown case before a three judge panel in district court in Kansas. Opinion and Finding of Fact for the case of Oliver Brown, et al. In 1950 Louis Redding filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sarah Bulah to admit her daughter Shirley to a nearby white elementary school, after the Delaware Board of Education refused to allow her to board an all-white school bus that drove pass their home. The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Spurred by a student strike, blacks in Prince Edward County, Virginia, called a lower federal court's attention to the demonstrably unequal facilities in the county's segregated high schools. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The Supreme Court did not render a judgement after the initial oral arguments in Brown v. As President (1953-1961), Dwight David Eisenhower took decisive action to enforce court rulings eliminating racial segregation.
This photograph shows interested members of the public waiting in line outside the Supreme Court for a chance to obtain one of the 50 seats allotted to hear the second round of arguments in the landmark Brown v. In preparation for the Brown court case the three lead lawyers gathered to discuss their final strategy.
Pictured in this photograph are nine members of the Supreme Court that decided Brown v. Three lawyers, Thurgood Marshall (center), chief counsel for the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund and lead attorney on the Briggs case, with George E.
The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Realizing that overturning school segregation in the South might entail a degree of social upheaval, Chief Justice Warren carefully engineered a unanimous vote, one without dissents or separate concurring opinions.
Early in May 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren circulated draft opinions for the school desegregation cases to his colleagues on the Court. Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter, who had worked to achieve a definitive repudiation of segregation by the Supreme Court, sent this note to Chief Justice Warren on the day that the decision in Brown v. Chief Justice Earl Warren's reading copy of Brown is annotated in his hand. Chief counsel for the NAACP Thurgood Marshall spoke to the press in New York City on May 31 after the Supreme Court decreed an end to public school segregation as soon as feasible. The NAACP's affiliation with the philanthropic Stokes family began with J. Anson Phelps Stokes to Channing Tobias, Chairman of the NAACP, offering congratulations on the NAACP's victory in Brown v. William Patterson was an attorney and former Executive Secretary of the International Labor Defense (ILD), an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of racial minorities, political radicals, and the working class. The multi-faceted African American response to the decision was articulated throughout the black press and in editorials published in official publications of national black organizations. After the Brown opinion was announced, the Court heard additional arguments during the following term on the decree for implementing the ruling. In response to requests from two Justices during the oral arguments of the implementation phase of Brown v.
Many white Southern liberals welcomed the moderate and incremental approach of the Brown implementation decree.
Challenges to legal and social institutions implicit in the Brown decision led to adverse reactions in both Northern and Southern states. The county provided 30 buses to bring white children to larger and better-equipped facilities.
Led by Barbara Johns, a determined eleventh-grader, a group of students organized a strike for a better school.
Surrounded by pine forests and small tobacco farms, Farmville had a population of about 5,000 inhabitants in 1950. The large and well-equipped whites-only Farmville High School served as a constant reminder to the Moton High School students of the glaring inequities of segregated education.
To house the additional students, the school board built plywood structures covered with tarpaper and heated them with pot-bellied stoves. At the request of Thurgood Marshall, Hill and Robinson had agreed to look for a case in Virginia to challenge segregation directly.
In Topeka, Kansas, a black third-grader named Linda Brown had to walk one mile through a railroad switchyard to get to her black elementary school, even though a white elementary school was only seven blocks away. The Topeka State Journal reported the historic May 17, 1954, decision that segregation in public schools must end.
On February 1, 1901, William Reynolds tried to enroll his eight-year-old son Raul in the new school that was reserved for whites.
Because of race and color, and for no other reason whatever, his child has been and is excluded from attending school in said new building by the express order and direction of said board . The context behind the Reynolds suit was related to the geographical circumstances of Topeka. We see that as early as 1901, the parents of white children were able to enjoy the benefits of sending their children to newer, neighborhood schools while the parents of African American children had to send their children to segregated schools, many of which were not located close to where they lived.
Just as land annexation resulted in a challenge to segregation, so too did the shift toward junior high curriculum bring another challenge to Topeka's segregated schools with the Graham case. When Topeka adopted the junior high system, it implemented a different educational curriculum for seventh and eighth grade students based on race. The 8-1-3 plan meant that African American children in Topeka remained in segregated schools through the eighth grade, choosing either to enter an integrated ninth grade at Boswell Junior High or remain in a segregated class by electing to attend Roosevelt Junior High. The court transcript of the Graham case illustrates the differences between the segregated elementary schools and the junior high schools. At segregated Buchanan School, one teacher taught most of the math and English courses, while at Boswell Junior High School different instructors taught all these subjects.
Though no formal policy existed to not hire black teachers, it soon became obvious in Topeka that the number of African American teachers slowly dwindled after April 1953. A 1953 letter from the superintendent of schools advises a black teacher that she won't be retained if segregation is ruled unconstitutional.
Segregation was maintained at a considerable cost as the four segregated elementary schools had much smaller student enrollments than their white counterparts. Racial segregation was sustained over the next thirty years as the Topeka School Board constantly changed boundary lines ensuring that some its elementary schools remained segregated, and its high schools became more segregated than they were before 1954. From 1931 to 1958, Topeka had one, integrated, senior high school: Topeka Senior High School. The school board argued that it was in compliance with the original desegregation plan that was approved by the district court on October 28, 1955, and fully implemented by September 1, 1961. Not only were African Americans geographically bound to attend inferior schools, they were also now economically limited by not having the financial resources to purchase homes that automatically provided them access to newer and better schools. In October 1986 the reactivated Brown was tried in the District Court of the District of Kansas. On December 11, 1989, the court of appeals voted to reverse the findings of the lower court.
A few months later on June 21, 1994, the Supreme Court declined to consider the matter further.
What is even more disturbing is that after 1954, not only was there continued segregation at the elementary level, but it had also crept into the middle, junior, and senior high grades as well. 5 The following eleven cases reached the Kansas Supreme Court: Board of the City of Ottawa et al. Researching the Brown case is complicated because there are really two cases: the famous Supreme Court case called Brown (which was in fact a consolidation of five school desegregation cases including the Topeka, Kansas, case), and the original Topeka case Brown. The Topeka Brown case files first arrived in Kansas City on September 1, 1967, as part of records center accession 021-68A367. Articles published in Prologue do not necessarily represent the views of NARA or of any other agency of the United States Government. In 1950 Kenneth Clark wrote a paper for the White House Mid-Century Conference on Children and Youth summarizing this research and related work that attracted the attention of Robert Carter of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. They showed the dolls to black children between the ages of three and seven and asked them questions to determine racial perception and preference.
During World War II, there was no new construction of schools and the few that existed were extremely overcrowded. The petition turned into a lawsuit and first name on the list was Harry Briggs. Testimony of Expert Witnesses at Trial of Clarendon County School Case Direct Examination by Robert L. They were assisted by local NAACP attorneys Charles Bledsoe and brothers John and Charles Scott. In 1951, Redding filed a second suit on behalf of Ethel Belton and nine other plaintiffs, whose children were barred from attending the all-white high school in their community. Trial Memorandum from Jack Greenberg concerning the Wilmington school case, October 11, 1951.
He would not, however, endorse the Brown decision or condemn segregation as morally wrong.
Board of Education decision its name originated in a Federal District Court in Topeka, Kansas. Coleman assisted Thurgood Marshall with the planning and execution of the Brown litigation. Burton sent this note to Chief Justice Earl Warren on the day that the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Warren announced the opinion in the names of each justice, an unprecedented occurrence.
Board of Education case in 1954 marked a culmination in a plan the NAACP had put into action more than forty years earliera€”the end to racial inequality. Nettie Hunt and daughter Nikie on the steps of the Supreme Court, 1954. At the news conference in New York City, Marshall told reporters “.
Patterson, Executive Secretary of the Civil Rights Congress, to Walter White congratulating White on the NAACP's victory in Brown v.


Founded in 1910, The Crisis magazine, shown here, is the official organ of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Redding, a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, became the first African American attorney in Delawarea€”the only one for more than twenty years.
Redding of Wilmington, Delaware, and Thurgood Marshall, General Counsel for the NAACP, conferring at the Supreme Court, during recess in the Court's hearing on racial integration in public schools, 1955. Board, Kansas Attorney General Harold Fatzer provided the Court with this map of the Topeka public school districts along with 1956 enrollment estimates by race. Ralph McGill, the influential editor of the Atlanta Constitution, wrote in praise of the Court's decision to have local school boards, in conjunction with Southern court judges, formulate and execute desegregation orders. Supreme Court's decision on May 17, 1954, and May 31, 1955, desegregating schools, Thurgood Marshall (1908-1994), was featured on the cover of Time magazine, on September 19, 1955. However, it did take longer for the junior and senior high schools to integrate. Most, like Liberty Hill Colored School, were small wooden structures that accommodated one or two classrooms. White children from the Summerton area attended this red brick building with a separate lunchroom and science laboratories. A new generation of African Americans, many of whom had fought in World War II, saw a world of greater possibilities. But the indifference of white officials stiffened their parents’ resolve to seek more.
The students rallied their fellow classmates, an entire community, and NAACP attorneys to their cause. About 45 percent of Prince Edwards County’s residents were African Americans, and about 80 percent lived on small farms.
Unlike its counterpart for white students, Robert Russa Moton High School had no gymnasium, cafeteria, lockers, or auditorium with fixed seating.
Linda's father, Oliver Brown, tried to enrol her in the white elementary school, but the principal of the school refused.
The westward growth of Topeka was caused in part by its being geographically constrained by the Kansas River to its north and southeast. The school board argued that the new school building was larger and more centrally located in order to accommodate the white children, who outnumbered the African American children living in the area. When the segregation statutes were first written in 1861 and later modified in 1879, junior high schools did not exist, and very few people of any race went on to high school.
White students were provided with a 6-3-3 system, consisting of six years of elementary or grade school, three years of junior high school, and three years of senior high school.
White children who left elementary school after sixth grade and attended junior high school were consequently introduced to a much more specialized curriculum. When the plaintiff, who had just finished sixth grade, tried to enroll in Boswell Junior High School, he was refused admittance on the basis of his race.
It contained many more classrooms than the elementary schools, allowing for students to change classes for specialized teaching.
In the testimony provided by witnesses in the Graham case, the home economics teacher at Buchanan, Miss Ruth Ridley, reported that though her students were well prepared when they graduated from the eighth grade, they did not have facilities comparable to the better equipped and more up-to-date sewing and cooking rooms at Boswell. However, the effect was uncertain—desegregation did not include the teaching and administrative staff.
Before the Brown decision, Topeka had 27 African American teachers who taught 779 students. As permitted by state law, racial segregation of students at the elementary level was strictly adhered to. In 1950, all four of the segregated schools had an average of 143 pupil spaces underutilized, while the all-white schools were much more crowded, averaging only 28 spaces underutilized. In 1955, three former all-black elementary schools were still 100 percent black with only 1 percent of its black children attending elementary schools that were formerly for whites. Five years after the original Brown decision, when faced with the opportunity to continue the racial parity at the senior high school level that had already existed for more tan twenty years, the Topeka Board of Education made a series of decisions that ensured that racial segregation would be compounded by class. Census data indicates that the largest concentration of Topeka's black population with school-age children resided midway between Topeka High and Highland Park. Since the junior high schools were desegregated before Brown in the early 1940s, and the high school was never segregated, they were not considered to be part of the original court order. By the 1970s, Topeka was more spatially and economically segregated than it had been before Brown. The 1970 census showed that in Topeka, Kansas, the mean family income in the wealthy, predominately white West Hills area was triple that of the predominately black southeast area: $19,909 to $6,886. Six months later the plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit when the district court decided that there was not enough evidence of purposeful discrimination. The school district appealed to the Supreme Court, but on April 20, 1992, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the court of appeals for further consideration. Finally, on July 25, 1994, the district court approved the school district's third desegregation proposal, but the school district continued to be subject to the court's jurisdiction. Unlike segregation laws, the social practices that arose to circumvent Brown fifty years ago are much more difficult to overcome. Supreme Court filed a separate opinion on Bolling because the Fourteenth Amendment was not applicable in Washington, D.C. In this essay, I focus on the specifics of the Topeka school case and its aftermath using the files housed at the National Archives and Records Administration–Central Plains (Kansas City).
Carter believed that Clark's findings could be effectively used in court to show that segregation damaged the personality development of black children.
Melvin Sharpe, was one of the five school desegregation cases that comprised Brown. Carter, Jack Greenberg, and Thurgood Marshall) in the case of Oliver Brown, . As in Briggs, the testimony of social scientists was central to the case. That fall, Thurgood Marshall sent Jack Greenberg to Wilmington to work with Redding on the litigation. The case involved four states (Kansas, Virginia, Delaware and South Carolina) and the District of Columbia. Boulware, (Briggs case), Thurgood Marshall, (Briggs case), and Spottswood W. Seated in the front row (from left) Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Earl Warren, Stanley Reed, and William O.
The Russell Daily News, serving the city and county of Russell, Kansas, announced the decision with a banner headline and two front page stories. The drama was heightened by the widespread prediction that the Court would be divided on the issue. The NAACP lost the bid because it lacked a full-time legal staff spurring Walter White, then head of the NAACP, to hire Charles H.
He devoted his practice to civil rights law and served as the counsel for the NAACP Delaware branch. Frankfurter wanted to anchor the decree in an established doctrine, and his endorsement of it sought to advance a consensus held by the entire court. Although almost all of the schools shown were either overwhelmingly white or completely black, Fatzer argued that Topeka had not deliberately gerrymandered the districts so as to concentrate black pupils into a few districts. Solicitor General Simon Sobeloff forwarded to Chief Justice Warren this letter from an official of the New York chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Marshall graduated with honors from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. In the 1949-50 school year, for every dollar spent on a white child only 24 cents was allotted for a black student. At this meeting in the Liberty Hill African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1950, parents signed a petition demanding integrated schools. Many owned their own land, which provided some independence, though the average income was only $852 a year. On April 23, 1951, the principal was lured off campus, and all 450 students were called into the auditorium.
Fearing for her safety, her parents sent her to live with her uncle in Montgomery, Alabama. Brown went to McKinley Burnett, the head of Topeka's branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and asked for help. Due to the contours of its flood plain, the least desirable land was north and east of the city, an area that came to be predominately African American. The subsequent redefinition of state segregation statutes after 1940 was in response to an innovation in the institutional structure of public education accompanied by rapidly increasing enrollments in secondary and post-secondary institutions. He filed suit, claiming the course of instruction offered at Buchanan Elementary was not equal to that available at Boswell Junior High.
For example, after the Graham case, eight African American teachers lost their jobs due to the integration of the junior highs. By 1956, the number of African American pupils had increased to 898, but the number of full-time teachers had declined to 21.
The four schools that were maintained for black students were Buchanan, McKinley, Monroe, and Washington.
The average black school had an enrollment of 165 students, while the white schools had an average enrollment of 342.
As city boundaries expanded to the south and west, two more high schools were added: Highland Park Senior High School, acquired through annexation in 1959, and Topeka West Senior High School, opened in 1961. A simple change in the attendance boundary when Highland Park was annexed would have brought its minority enrollment to 50 percent. Though these cases resulted in minor judgments, they did prompt an investigation by the Office of Civil Rights of the federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). Because the school board had designed and built schools with the effect of limiting access to its newer facilities to only those residing in Topeka's western suburbs, most African Americans in Topeka were relegated to East Topeka's rapidly aging and increasingly inferior schools. This statistic is also reflected in the 1970 median value of housing, $28,800 in West Hills to $9,550 in East Topeka.
The appellate court reaffirmed its earlier decision and denied rehearing on January 28, 1993.
That class incorporated the race most affected by segregation made it even more pernicious than before Brown.
In this case, the Court held that racial segregation in the District of Columbia public schools violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Ironically, Harlan was the grandson of Justice John Marshall Harlan, the lone dissenter in Plessy.
On that date, the court files became available to researchers; however, not all the files were completely returned until the last exhibits were transferred to NARA on August 29, 2000. This momentous Supreme Court decision focused national attention on the practice of maintaining racially segregated public schools. On Carter's recommendation, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund engaged Clark to provide expert social science testimony in the Briggs, Davis, and Delaware cases. However, when asked which they preferred, the majority selected the white doll and attributed positive characteristics to it.
The data reveals that Mark A., a black boy age four with a dark brown complexion, prefers the white doll and selects the white doll as the one that looks like him.


Because the District of Columbia was not a state but federal territory, the Fourteenth Amendment arguments used in the other cases did not apply. The NAACP immediately instituted lawsuits concerning segregated public schools in Southern and border states. Delivered in the United States Court for the District of Kansas, 1951. Greenberg drafted this meticulous trial memorandum the week before the hearing.
Davis, who had been the Democratic Party's unsuccessful candidate for president in 1924, was the lead counsel in the South's effort to uphold the Plessy v. Among an impressive array of legal representation for the plaintiffs was Thurgood Marshall serving as chief council for the NAACP. Nabrit (right), attorneys for Bolling case, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court congratulating each other after the court ruling that segregation was unconstitutional.
He proposed to put off the tricky question of implementation until later. He said, “Today I believe has been a great day for America and the Court. Hunt, shown here, explained to their children why this was an important moment in history. At the time of the Brown decision, Anson Phelps Stokes was president of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, a charitable trust that sponsored black schools and educational projects.
The justices thought that the decree should provide for flexible enforcement, appeal to established principles, and suggest some basic ground rules for judges of the lower courts. Also shown is a key to the map, representing the placement of students in the districts. His exclusion from the University of Maryland's Law School due to racial discrimination, marked a turning point in his life.
Thurgood Marshall filed the document with the United States District Court on December 22, 1950.
In 1951 African American students from the school fought their battle for access to equal education. After the students asked the teachers to leave, Barbara convinced her classmates that they should walk out until a new building was under construction. Francis Griffin’s church, they persuaded the students to drop their request for a new school and demand that the court strike down the Virginia law requiring segregated schools. The NAACP was eager to assist the Browns, as it had long wanted to challenge segregation in public schools.
After annexation it continued to be integrated because "it did not become convenient or expedient to make provision for separate schools . The assumption that the curriculum was not equal to the white schools reflected poorly on the high dedication and exemplary training of the black teachers, which many of them rightly resented. After the desegregation of the elementary schools in 1954, for most black teachers in Topeka and elsewhere, Brown did not result in integration; it still meant segregation or even worse, unemployment. Each of these four schools was geographically located in predominately black areas, although students were brought in from throughout the system. Topeka did not use the available classroom space in the black schools to relieve overcrowding in the white schools. It would have also alleviated overcrowding at Topeka High, since Highland Park had 497 empty seats. HEW found that Topeka was not in compliance and brought further attention to the ways in which the Topeka Board of Education sought to circumvent desegregation. These records contain a wealth of information about school segregation, desegregation, and resegregation in Topeka, which is a microcosm of what happened nationally in the fifty years since the original Brown decision.
The documentary presents the stories of the individuals, events and circumstances that converged as the wheels of the legal system were set in motion.
Clark also co-authored a summation of the social science testimony delivered during the trials that was endorsed by thirty-five leading social scientists. The Clarks also gave the children outline drawings of a boy and girl and asked them to color the figures the same color as themselves.
Many black students were attending schools in shifts while many of the white schools sat nearly empty. He sought Klineberg's advice on the use of social science testimony in the pending trial to show the psychological damage segregation caused in black children. In it he provides a schedule of witnesses, instructions on deposing the witnesses, and the questions to be posed. Coleman wrote this memorandum for Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter in 1949. In this letter Patterson, head of the Civil Rights Congress, a leftist organization, attributes opposition to the Brown decision to “the demoralizing effect of segregated schools on white youth. When it became clear that opponents of desegregation were using the doctrine to delay and avoid compliance with Brown, the Court began to express reservations about the phrase. As a result, he attended the Howard University Law School, and graduated first in his class in 1933. Two-thirds of the county’s black households earned less that $1,000 a year, mostly growing cotton. At two of the four segregated schools in Topeka, more of the teachers held master's degrees than at any of the white grade schools.
This decline in employment of black teachers after integration is a largely unacknowledged fact of desegregation. Five of the eighteen white elementary schools were located in predominately white areas, while the remaining thirteen schools, though reserved exclusively for whites, were located in racially mixed neighborhoods. Given that thirteen of the eighteen schools reserved for whites were in racially mixed neighborhoods, it would have been relatively simple to reassign pupils without the additional expense of providing transportation. Instead, the Topeka School Board elected to build a third high school (Topeka West) at the western fringe of the growing city, assigning to it 2 black children and 702 white children.
Many of the children with dark complexions colored the figures with a white or yellow crayon. Among the witnesses listed are psychologists Kenneth Clark and Otto Klineberg. Instead, the Court submitted a list of five questions for counsel to discuss at a rehearing that convened on December 7, 1953. Davis, one time Democratic presidential candidate and expert on constitutional law.
Early in his career he traveled throughout the South and argued thirty-two cases before the Supreme Court, winning twenty-nine. Although all the schools in a given district were supposed to be equal, most black schools were far inferior to their white counterparts.
Though on August 27, 1974, Johnson moved to consolidate with Weinberger, this motion was never decided.
The Consolidated Parents Group initiated a boycott of the black High School in Washington.
District Court in Topeka, Kansas, in February 1951 and litigated concurrently with Briggs v. The two men are shown meeting in New York in October 1952, shortly before Davis would endorse Eisenhower for president.
The Weinberger case was later dismissed after the Topeka school district's motion for a preliminary injunction was granted by a U.S. Fact VIII endorsed the psychological premise that segregation had a detrimental effect on black children. Thurgood Marshall in later years would say of Davis, “He was a good man .
Houston persuaded him to leave private law practice and join the NAACP legal staff in New York, where he remained from 1936 until 1961.
At the trial, the NAACP argued that segregated schools sent the message to black children that they were inferior to whites; therefore, the schools were inherently unequal. The district then built a new school for the 130 white children living in the area, which brought about the Reynolds suit. He also agreed to assist the Legal Defense Fund 's lawyers in the preparation of briefs and recruit other prominent social scientists to testify. Oliver Brown, one of thirteen plaintiffs, had agreed to participate on behalf of his seven-year-old daughter Linda, who had to walk six blocks to board a school bus that drove her to the all-black Monroe School a mile away. This was the windfall the NAACP needed to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Gebhart, which respectively concerned elementary school and high school.
This document records the depositions of two expert witnesses who participated in Briggs v. Houston was hired to represent them in a law suit to make black schools more equal to white schools when Houston's health began to fail. Briggs and Brown were the first cases to reach the Court; three others followed. Davis, a professor of political science at Lincoln University, Mabel Smythe, an economist, and psychologist Kenneth Clark, and scholars John Hope Franklin, C.
On April 1, 1952, Judge Collins Seitz ordered the immediate admission of black students to Delaware's white public schools, but the local state-run-school board appealed the decision to the U.S. Johnson appointed Marshall as Solicitor General in 1965 and nominated him to a seat on the United States Supreme Court in 1967 from which he retired in 1991. The Topeka curriculum or any school curriculum cannot be equal under segregation."The Board of Education's defence was that, because segregation in Topeka and elsewhere pervaded many other aspects of life, segregated schools simply prepared black children for the segregation they would face during adulthood. The board also argued that segregated schools were not necessarily harmful to black children; great African Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver had overcome more than just segregated schools to achieve what they achieved. Ferguson allowed separate but equal school systems for blacks and whites, and no Supreme Court ruling had overturned Plessy yet. Because of the precedent of Plessy, the court felt "compelled" to rule in favour of the Board of Education.
Brown and the NAACP appealed to the Supreme Court on October 1, 1951 and their case was combined with other cases that challenged school segregation in South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware.
The Supreme Court first heard the case on December 9, 1952, but failed to reach a decision. The Court had to make its decision based not on whether or not the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment had desegregated schools in mind when they wrote the amendment in 1868, but based on whether or not desegregated schools deprived black children of equal protection of the law when the case was decided, in 1954.
On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren read the decision of the unanimous Court: We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities?
Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.The Supreme Court struck down the "separate but equal" doctrine of Plessy for public education, ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, and required the desegregation of schools across America. Board of Education decision did not abolish segregation in other public areas, such as restaurants and restrooms, nor did it require desegregation of public schools by a specific time.



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