School Desegregation

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School Desegregation

The most pivotal Supreme Court decision launching the modern civil rights movement was the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In 1954, the U. S. Supreme Court rejected the “separate but equal” laws that had been used 1850. Chief Justice Earl Warren said “ to segregate school children from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their states in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone” (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954). The struggle for integrated schools has gone through a number of phases since the 1954 decision and has been shaped both “for” and “against” by various court rulings and public and political battles. Although, the decision was made to integrate, desegregation was slow which led to Brown II. Brown II called for desegregation with “all deliberate speed” in 1955. Education became the focus of the South’s resistance to the court rulings. School districts across the south found various ways to oppose or slow down the desegregation of schools. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to surround Little Rock all-white Central High School and prevent nine black students from entering. Twenty-two days later Daisy Bates, an official of the NAACP, led the nine children into the school with the help of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower. These kids later became known as The Little Rock Nine. At the end of the year Earnest Green became the first African American to graduate form that school. In the fall of 1958, before schools opened, Faubus closed all Little Rock’s public high schools rather than proceed with desegregation. A county in Virginia also abandon its whole public school system, leaving only private schools, which excluded African Americans kids. This action meant that most African Americans kids were locked out of schools for several years,...
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