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Brown vs. Board of Education - Essay Example

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Instructor name Date Brown vs. Board of Education The United States was founded on the idea of equality and justice for all, at least for white, male property owners. This lofty concept was novel for the times and eventually evolved to include minority members and women…
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Brown vs. Board of Education

Download file to see previous pages... Ferguson decision which upheld Jim Crow laws of the South. The Supreme Court’s decision regarding Brown vs. Board of Education and the racial segregation of schools was decided on arguments made both on behalf of the Fourteenth Amendment and Plessy, two opposing views of equal rights. As history demonstrates, the Brown decision chose the moral path. The Brown v. Board of Education case was actually five separate suits relating to the segregation in public schools bundled together and brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954. President Truman desegregated the U.S. military in 1948 but the country remained racially divided, particular throughout the southern states where forced segregation was legally imposed. Although black schools were expected to be equal to white schools in a given school district, most black parents had to send their children to vastly inferior educational facilities. Oliver Brown, a black parent in Topeka, Kansas decided to correct this injustice. Brown’s daughter Linda, a third-grader had to walk through a busy railcar switchyard to the black school one mile away, twice as far as the white school she walked past both coming and going to her school. The principle of the white school turned down Brown’s request for his daughter to attend there so he asked the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) branch in Topeka for assistance. “The NAACP was eager to assist the Browns, as it had long wanted to challenge segregation in public schools. With Brown’s complaint, it had ‘the right plaintiff at the right time.’” (Knappman, 1994 pg 467). Brown and the NAACP soon were joined by many more black parents. In 1951 the NAACP served Topeka Public Schools with an injunction requesting the end of segregation. At the June 1951 trial the NAACP argued Brown’s case before a U.S. District Court claiming that segregating schools essentially provided confirmation to black children that white children were superior. Black children grew up thinking they were unequal by birth. One expert witness testified that no school system could be equal if it were segregated. “...if the colored children are denied the experience in school of associating with white children …then the colored child's curriculum is being greatly curtailed.” (Knappman, 1994 pg 467). The Topeka Board of Education countered by saying the segregated system mirrored society. It would be confusing for children to be mixed at school yet separated in other facets of daily living such as in restaurants, churches, restrooms, public transportation, etc. The board invoked the names of George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass, famous men who attended black-only schools to make the point segregation isn’t a detriment to black children. The justices of the District Court found Brown’s case compelling and agreed that segregation negatively affected black children “...A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn.” (Ziegler, 1958 pg. 78) However, they ultimately bowed to the precedent of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision which allowed for separate school systems. Because no Supreme Court ruling had yet reversed Plessy the District Court felt “compelled” to rule in favor of the board. (Ziegler, 1958 pg. 78) The NAACP and Brown combined their case with similar court challenges to segregated schools occurring in other states and appealed the lower court’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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