Brown vs. Board of Education
The Brown Family
The Brown vs. Board of Education trial is one of the most important trials in the 1950s and even in America's history. It is a significant decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court which outlawed racial segregation of public education facilities (schools run by the government).
In the 1950s it was common for segregation in public schools even though they were supposed to be equal. In one instance Linda Brown, a third-grader in Topeka, Kansas, had to travel a mile to get to her black elementary school, even though there was a white school only seven blocks away. Linda's father, Oliver, once tried to enlist Linda into the white school but the principal refused. Oliver then contacted William Everett Glenn, Sr., a Topeka attorney and Mckinley Burnett, the head of the Topeka NAACP branch, about his concerns regarding "separate but equal policies" of Topeka schools. The separate but equal doctrine came about in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson which stated that having blacks and whites in separate equal facilities did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. In most situations, especially in the south, the schools were far from equal. The Browns and several other African American families with the same case went all the way to the Supreme Court saying that even schools that were physically equal did take into account the "intangible" factors and that segregation itself had a bad effect on children. They also said that having children in separate schools were sending messages that Blacks were somehow inferior, so there was no way that education could be equal.
The Board of Education's argued that segregation was a way of life and just preparing kids with the situations they would deal with they were adults. The Board of Education cited African Americans that were successful like Frederick Douglas who did not attend integrated school.
The case was appealed to the Supreme Court in 1951. The Supreme Court tossed...
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