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Brown v. Board of Education
Brown versus Board of Education (1954) (full name Oliver Brown, et al v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas) was an important law case in the United States. This case was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, which is the highest court in the US.
In Topeka, Kansas, a black third-grade girl named Linda Brown had to walk more than a mile through a railroad switchyard to get to her school for black children, even though there was an elementary school for white children less than seven blocks away. Her father tried to get her into the white school, but the principal of the school refused. Twelve more black parents joined Oliver Brown, Linda’s father, in trying to get their children into the white elementary school. Even though it was said that the two schools were both equal, this was not true. As the principal refused to allow their children into his school, a legal case was made. The case won and it was made illegal for there to be separate schools for blacks and whites, even though some states, at first, refused. This case was supported by the NAACP.
The Supreme Court has nine justices. The vote on Brown v. Board of Education was unanimous, meaning that all nine justices voted the same way. The ruling in the case was written by Earl Warren, who was Chief Justice. He said “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." This undid an earlier decision called Plessy v. Ferguson, which said that separate schools were legal. This decision made the racial segregation of schools against the law in every US state. Some states did not obey this court decision at first. It was not until the early 1970s that all US public schools were integrated (the opposite of segregated).
These links may not be in simple English:
- The Brown v. Board of Education US Supreme Court decision from Findlaw
- US National Park Service Historic Site: Monroe Elementary School, one of the segregated elementary schools in Topeka