Rico DimayugaPeriod 12018/01/26Civil Rights Movement: Brown V Board of EducationThe 1950s to 1960s were a crucial period in the Nation’s history. With the fall of fascism in Nazi Germany, America’s contradictions of democratic ideals yet poor treatment of foreign ethnicities were brought to light. These contradictions would soon start anew fight for freedom, this time within the nation: The Civil Rights Movement. However, this burning battle of ideals first began with a faint spark in 1954 in the Supreme Court case of Brown V Board of Education, which would forever change the future of American society through its half-century long build-up, long awaited resolution, and beginning of a social and civil revolt.
Brown V Board of Education’s outcome, deeming segregation in public schools unconstitutional by a unanimous Supreme Court, first impacted the Civil Rights Movement as well as our modern day by undoing another court’s outcome 58 years ago. In 1896, a one-eighth black man by the name of Homer Plessy attempted to sit in a train car reserved for whites, only to be arrested for challenging Louisiana train segregation laws created in 1890, six years prior. The Supreme Court wound up in favor of Louisiana, stating that they “consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be sso, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.” (Digital History, Plessy V Ferguson). In other words, the court states that ethnic minorities only place the idea of segregation being unequal upon the laws, and that it’s false.
As long as both races were accommodated equally, it was both acceptable and encouraged to keep the races separate.However, this isn’t true. Assuming both colored and white schools had the same quality and environment, plenty of students still had to walk excruciating distances just to attend their nearest colored school on time, one notable such being the case of a third grade Kansas child named Linda Brown. Linda, a “colored” girl, was denied entrance into her closest institution, a white school by the name of Summer Elementary. As such, Linda was forced to travel several miles just to catch a bus to attend the nearest colored school, Monroe Elementary.
Plenty of other children also faced these issues, but none so with stories as popular and as prominent as Linda’s. As such, the NAACP lawsuit filed against the school district in 1951 would be named Brown V Board of Education, spearheaded by the NAACP’s chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall. After a long and trying battle, the Supreme Court would come to the conclusion that segregation is inherently unequal, and that it violated the promise of equal protection by the 14th Amendment. Chief Justice Earl Warren writes “We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” (Khanacademy, Brown V Board of Education, Separate is “inherently unequal”.
The removal of segregation laws in schools, even of equal quality, is a major step forward in the progress of American society, and would soon lead to the larger battle that is the Civil Rights Movement. After the recognition of “Separate but Equal” education inherently being anything but equal,