Brown vs. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas was a landmark Supreme Court case in the United States that declared state laws that established separate public schools for black and white students denied black children equal educational opportunities.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its legal offspring, the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, developed a systematic attack against the doctrine of "separate but equal." The campaign started at the graduate and professional educational levels. The attack culminated in five separate cases gathered together under the name of one of them--Oliver Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
Aware of the gravity of the issue and concerned with the possible political and social repercussions, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case argued on three separate occasions in as many years. The Court weighed carefully considerations involving adherence to legal precedent, social-science findings on the negative effects of segregation, and the marked inferiority of the schools that African Americans were forced to attend.
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."
- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas "With an Even Hand": Brown vs. Board at Fifty. by the U.S. Library of Congress. October 18, 2004