Kirisitina Maui’a HIS 303 Brown vs. Board of Education Mr. Mohammad Khatibloo November 1, 2010 Brown v. Board of Education “To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone” by Chief Justice Earl Warren, Majority Opinion.
Imagine you are a seven year old and have to walk one mile to a bus stop by walking through a railroad switching station and then waiting for a school bus to go to a “black elementary school” or a school where only African American children went. This is what happened to Linda Brown, an African American third grader from Topeka, Kansas, even though there was a “white elementary school” only seven blocks away. A “white elementary school” was a school where only white students were able to attend. This research paper will base on the case of Brown vs.
Board of Education. Background of the Case One day Reverend Oliver Brown took his eight-year-old daughter, Linda Carol, for a walk to the Sumner Elementary School located just seven blocks from her house in Topeka, Kansas. After a discussion Brown had with the principal over the enrollment of his daughter, he was informed that she would not be admitted to the school even though she qualified. The reason she was not admitted to the school was because of the color of her skin, Sumner Elementary only accepted Caucasian children.
Reverend Brown was not a man who caused trouble, but he did not want his daughter to have to walk six blocks along railroad tracks in order to catch the bus to a rundown black school (Dudley 8). Brown and his family, along with many other African American families wanted to put an end to school segregation. Thirteen African American families of Topeka rallied together and sought out the help of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NAACP chose Oliver Brown’s family for the upcoming case because he was a inister and a respectable, hard working man. Appointed this case were the NACCP attorney’s Robert Carter and Jack Greenberg, with the guidance and assistance of Thurgood Marshall, who was a major contributor in fighting for equal rights of African Americans and also in charge of the other desegregation cases. The Lawsuit begins Brown v. Board of Education is measured the mainly noteworthy civil rights court case of the 20th century for the lawful standard it set and for the anticipation it gave to black people all through the nation (Lazear, Edward P. 77-803). The Case began in Topeka on June 25, 1951, being held before the United States District Court of Kansas. The NAACP would struggle in trying to convince the jury that the schools were unequal because both school’s courses and building were of equal standards and although the Sumner school was closer, Topeka still provided busing for the African Americans to get to their school. The NAACP argued that segregated schools sent the message to the black children that they were inferior to white; therefore, the schools were inherently unequal (Brown).
The NAACP used psychologist’s as their expert witnesses, who explained how beneficial it would be for children of all races to attend school together because that would help them come together as a unified society later in life. However, the Board of Education’s defense was that, because segregation in Topeka and elsewhere pervaded many other aspects of life, segregated schools simply prepared black children for the segregation they face during adulthood (Brown).
Judge Walter Huxman, spoke unanimously for the court and although they felt sympathy for the plaintiffs because of the precedent with Plessey, the court felt “compelled” to rule in favor of the Board of Education (Brown). Although the decision was against the plaintiffs, Huxman attached a “Finding of Fact” to the judgment, it read: “Segregation of white and colored people in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children… A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn” (Dudley 39).
Despite the judgment from the court of Kansas, it would not hinder the NAACP’s movement with these cases. Brown and the NAACP appealed to the Supreme Court on October 1, 1951, and the other four cases that were being tried in lower courts at the same time would also be brought before the Supreme Court in October. The other cases challenging school segregation took place in Washington D. C. , South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware.
All five cases that were going to be tried before the Supreme Court became known as the Oliver L. Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The Supreme Court first heard the case on December 9, 1952, but failed to reach a decision which led to a new court date on December 7-8, 1953, when the court asked both sides to discuss “the circumstances surrounding the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868” (Brown). The section that was being debated over in the Fourteenth Amendment was the first section.
It read: “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the Unites States nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (Dudley 21. ) So both sides argued over why and why it was not a violation of the children’s Fourteenth Amendment rights, yet things were still not any clearer for those making the final judgment.
The Court had to make a decision based not on whether or not the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment had desegregated schools in mind when they wrote the amendment in 1868, but based upon whether or not desegregated schools deprived black children of equal protection of the law (Brown). The Constitutional Questions raised by the Case There were several constitutional questions raised in this case. If “the history of the Fourteenth Amendment is inconclusive as to its intended effect of public education” (http://www. Nationalcenter. org/brown. tml) “Where a State has undertaken to provide an opportunity for an education in its public schools, such an opportunity is a right which must be available to all equal terms. Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprives children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities, even though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors may be equal. The “separate but equal” doctrine adopted in Plessey v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, has no place in the field of education. ” (http://www. nationalcenter. rg/brown. html) The blacks did get legal representative and they also got aid of the courts to obtain admission to non-segregated schools in their community. Even though, it was on a non-segregated basis, they weren’t allowed to attend the school because of the law was that segregation was legal. The “separate but equal” doctrine was an equal treatment, but when it came to the blacks that they were provided facilities. All facilities were separated. All of the questions were answered in this hearing and stated to be unconstitutional.
On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren read the decision of the unanimous Court: “We come then to the question presented: 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 the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does… We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment (watson. org). Supreme Court Decision The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education did not cease segregation in other public areas, nor did it require immediate desegregation of public schools. However, it was the groundbreaking decision that to led to the integration of all schools across America.
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “You cannot change people’s hearts merely by laws” (Dudley 61). Sadly, this was quite true. It would be an ongoing battle over equality and civil rights for quite some time that would eventually be won by the African Americans for civil liberties. The court’s decision was that segregation had a detrimental effect on the colored children. The impact of the law, as for policy that the segregation which reflects as to the Negro group. It had a tendency to retard the education and mental development of Negro children. The Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision on May 17, 1954. It held that school segregation violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The following year the Court ordered desegregation “with all deliberate speed. ” (http://www. loc. gov/exhibits/brown/brown-brown. html) After the case was argued on December 9, 1952 and they reargued on December 8, 1953, they finally made a decision on this case as to segregation as to be unconstitutional.
The overall evaluation of the decision’s constitutional significance was that the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas did indeed violate the Fourteenth Amendment. They shouldn’t segregate a school because of one’s race. The African-Americans weren’t treated fairly and equally and all schools should be integrated. This decision led to a great deal other litigation in which equal protection clause that was referenced, benefiting women and other groups of people who felt that they were denied equal rights. The Aftermath
The aftermath of the decision, some states took a long time to integrate their schools because they didn’t want to have Negroesin their schools. In Prince Edward County, VA done was closed their schools so that they didn’t have to fund integrated schools. In which that school stayed closed from 1959 thru 1964, which left a lot of students without any education. Looking at that, I think that it was utterly ridiculous because of closing a school because they didn’t want black in their schools, which made the other children suffer from lack of education.
It makes you think what was wrong with their heads, to come up with that reasoning. In by closing the school, made it look like that people didn’t really care about their children’s education. But in the long run other schools, colleges, and places of business finally desegregated, which allowed the blacks to do anything that a white person could do. This caused blacks to be hired without any discrimination. Slowly every state was integrating their schools. After this case was decided on, it helped a lot of people, not only the blacks, but all races. Conclusion The Supreme Court verdict in Brown v.
Board of Education established to be just one step in a long and difficult journey on the way to parity in the nation’s schools, however the decision keeps a significant place in United States account (Welch, Finis, and Audrey Light). Officially, it is momentous for its setback of the 50-year-old detaches but equal set of guidelines. Representatively, it supplied optimism as well as motivation to those concerned in the fight back for ethnic egalitarianism in the United States, both during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s and in the years that followed.