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Brown V. Topeka Board Of Education

1108 words - 5 pages

The Significance of the Brown V. Topeka Board of Education Ruling of 1954
Tamara Smith
Colorado Technical Institute

The Significance of the Brown V. Topeka Board of Education Ruling of 1954

The Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was, and still is considered to be a landmark case which stated state laws which had allowed the establishing of different public schools for African American and white pupils to be against the constitution. The verdict overruled the 1896 decision of Plessy v. Ferguson decision, a ruling that permitted state-sponsored segregation, provided it applied to public education. The Brown V. Topeka decision ruled that ...view middle of the document...

Although African American students were legally entitled to an education equal to that of their white counterparts under the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson, they rarely received it. “Black schools” often did not receive the funding or materials that “white schools” were offered. As to be expected, African American parents were decidedly upset with the inferior treatment of their children and were ready for a change.
In 1951, the NAACP along with local parents and community groups began to file lawsuits against school segregation across the country. By December, the United States Supreme Court would merge five of the school desegregation cases under the name Brown v Board of Education. The NAACP would begin to build their case for desegregation based largely on the ruling of one of the case which had been initially overturned; Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County. In the Davis case, the U.S. District Court denied the demand of students to desegregate on the statement: "We have found no hurt or harm to either race." Ironically, however, the court did demand that the Prince Edward school board improve the quality of the Black schools – an action that the board would later refuse to take (CRMVet.org, n.d., p. 1951-53, para. 3).
During the Brown V Topeka case, the NAACP argued that innate to segregated schools is the message to African American children that they are lesser than white children and consequently, their school must also be inferior. The Topeka school board rebutted that segregation was part of life, not only in Topeka but throughout the country; therefore segregated schools were for the benefit of African American children because the schools prepared the children for the segregation they would have to face all their lives. As the NAACP had a long-term goal of desegregation everywhere, they were obviously not accepting of the school board's argument.
The case would include not only examples of the poor school systems and far distances African American children were made to travel, but also social science research that proved segregation was detrimental to the children’s welfare. In both its arguments as well as its brief, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund would deliver the testimony of more than 30 social scientists confirming the damaging effects of segregation on blacks and whites (The Leadership Conference, 2015).
The decision of the Supreme Court was...

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