Brown v Board of Education Essay

2327 Words 10 Pages
On the seventeenth day in May 1954 a decision was made which changed things in the United States dramatically. For millions of black Americans, news of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education meant, at last, that they and their children no longer had to attend separate schools. Brown v. Board of Education was a Supreme Court ruling that changed the life of every American forever.
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. Linda's father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school, but the principal of the
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Brown and the NAACP appealed to the Supreme Court on October 1, 1951. Their case was combined with other cases that challenged school segregation in South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. The Supreme Court first heard the cases on December 9, 1952, but failed to reach a decision. The judges had to decide whether or not the writers of the Fourteenth Amendment had desegregated schools in mind. The court ruling eventually came to be unanimous. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court asked this question in the decision read on May 17, 1954: “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 children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities?” (The National Center for Public Research). They struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy for public education saying that it “has no place”, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and required the desegregation of schools across America (The National Center For Public Research).
On that Monday in May, the high court's ruling that outlawed school segregation in the United States generated urgent news flashes on the radio and frenzied black. One swift and unanimous decision by the top judges in the land was going to end segregation in public schools. Southern politicians reacted with such fury and fear that they immediately called the day "Black Monday." South Carolina Gov. James Byrnes,
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