Brown V. Board Of Education : A Brief History With Documents

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The book “Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents” is Waldo E. Martin’s observation on not just the landmark case of Brown v. Board but also the institutionalized racism that was overcome to get there. It also documents other cases that Brown v. Board built upon to get the decision that challenged “separate but equal”. In this text Martin gives a glimpse into not just what the court order did from a legislative standpoint, but from a human standpoint, what happened to the people, community, and society in general both prior and in the wake of the of this monumental decision. To understand the significance of the decision to desegregate schools, one must look at the state affairs in the black community. In the legal sense, even prior to the emancipation of slaves the status of free blacks had been greatly degraded by social hierarchy and legislative restriction. Cases such as Scott v. Sandford, where the legal status of blacks was inconsequential against a white person caused a severe disparity when interracial cases were brought to court. After the abolishment of slavery, cases such as Plessy v. Ferguson help build a new system of disenfranchisement known as Jim Crow. This new system was methodical and intricately wound into the laws. Blacks also had to deal with great hurdles in order to vote such as literacy tests, taxes in comparison to their white counterparts that were able to bypass these with the grandfather clause, and those among them who were
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