The theme of my work is “Brown v. Board of Education”. I would like to tell about the background of the segregation issue and the relevant cases to the actual case, to describe people involved and previous amendments relevant, to talk about the outcome and how life was afterwards and to prove a thesis that irrespectively of race, colour, or creed all people are equal in their rights and before the law.
The background of the segregation issue
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka is a landmark decision of the US Supreme court that recognized state laws as contradicting the US constitution and denied a decision about a separate training for black and white schoolboys in 1954. This decision was an important event in a struggle against a racial segregation in the USA.
The racial segregation in the USA is a branch of ethnic groups in the USA. Their main goals were to establish the barriers to a social dialogue, separate training and education and other discrimination measures.
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The US Supreme court under the chairmanship of Brown has declared that segregation did not break the Fourteenth amendment to the Constitution in a case of Plessy v. Ferguson.
The Fourteenth Amendment of US Constitution runs: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United 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”
The racial segregation in the USA was absolutely lawful from a date of acceptance this decision during 90s. The relation to a racial segregation was very different in US states. In 16 states segregation was forbidden legislatively when a claim was taken to court.
In a cause of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, claimants proposed a thesis that a racial segregation being covered with a principle “separate but equal” actually promoted a fastening of practice which concerns to rendering of services to black citizens.
A famous writer Dudley, M. E. have mentioned in his book “Brown v. Board of Education (1954)” about this situation “In 1896 the Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' decision in the case of Homer Plessy, a black man from Louisiana, challenged the constitutionality of segregated railroad coaches, first in the state courts and then in the U. S. Supreme Court. The high court upheld the lower courts noting that since the separate cars provided equal services, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment was not violated. Thus, the “separate but equal” doctrine became the constitutional basis for segregation”.
Circumstances on a case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Parents have taken the collective claim to court against Board of Education of Topeka with a requirement to disaffirm a racial segregation's policy in 1951.
According to the law of the State of Kansas separate schools for black and white children have been founded by Board of Education of Topeka in 1879. Unfortunately, this law allowed, but did not resolve it. The important role has played English National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP in a claim preparation. This association advised parents to settle their children in the nearest schools in 1951.
Oliver Brown has joined the claim for his friend's offer. Brown specified in the claim that his daughter should attend school for white children, which was on distance of 5 blocks from their house while the school for black was on distance of 21 blocks.
The district court has solved the case in a favour of Board of Education of Topeka being guided by a precedent on a case of Plessy v. Ferguson. Though, the court recognised that segregation had a negative influence on black children, but it has refused a satisfaction of the claim referring to the equality of schools according to their curricula, buildings, locations and qualifications of teachers.
The decision has legally forbidden a racial segregation at American schools. However, there was a resistance some states.
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The court of the State of Alabama has decided that decisions of the Supreme Court were not valid, because they contradicted states' legislation. The Supreme Court had to confirm the decision again in 1958. The governor of the State of Alabama George Wallace has personally partitioned off a way for black students to the University of Alabama and has only released a pass after President Kennedy's intervention. This event became widely known and has received a name Â«Standing in the doorwayÂ».
The parliament of Florida has carried a resolution about a primacy of the legislation of state over federal. In spite of the fact that the governor of the state has sympathised with supporters of segregation he has refused to sign it. In some states racists have shown a strong resistance to the decision of the Supreme Court. Federal armies have been entered a city Little-Rock, the State of Arkansas after refusal of a governor of the state to carry out a judgement.
In the words of Zora Neale Hurston who was an Afro-American folklorist and author, “The whole matter revolves around the self-respect of my people. How much satisfaction can I get from a court order for somebody to associate with me who does not wish me near them?”
To sum up, I want to say that I described the background of the segregation issue and the relevant cases to the actual case, told about people involved, previous amendments relevant and about the outcome and how life was afterwards and proved a thesis that irrespectively of race, colour, or creed all people are equal in their rights and before the law.
Nowadays, the efforts of all people who involved in this process, struggling different methods for the same purpose, established system of understanding and a mutual respect to each other by races in social and other spheres of our life in a modern USA.
Constitution of United States of America retrieved www.loc.gov
Dudley, M. E. Brown v. Board of Education. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1994.
Kluger, Richard Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality, New York: Knopf, 1975.
Ogletree, Charles J. All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half Century of Brown v. Board of Education, New York: W.W. Norton, 2004.
Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
- Constitution of United States of America retrieved www.loc.gov
- Dudley, M. E. Brown v. Board of Education. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1994.
- Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001