Brown v. Board of Education (1954) U.S. SUPREME COURT There is no such thing as “separate but equal.” ~The plaintiffs contend that segregated public schools are not “equal” and cannot be made “equal,” and that hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws… ~We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Separating by race can cause psychological as well as educational problems to the children in institutions considered inferior. ~In these days it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.
~…To separate [children] 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. ~A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment because it denied people equal protection of the law. ~In approaching this problem, we cannot turn the clock back to 1868 when the Amendment was adopted, or even to 1896 when Plessy v. Ferguson was written. ~Only in this way can it be determined if segregation in public schools deprives these plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws. ~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. ~ This disposition makes unnecessary any discussion whether such segregation also violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment…
Linda Brown was a young black girl that was a student in a segregated school. She had to cross railroad tracks and ride a school bus twenty-one blocks to a black school, even though there was a white school only five blocks away. The attorneys forced the court to answer why African Americans were singled out for different treatment. The attorneys also made the point that racial segregation deprives students of important interaction with others that enhances learning on May 17, 1954. The courts ruled in favor of desegregation on the grounds that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal since they deprive minority student’s equal educational opportunities essential to their success in life. “By ruling in favor of Linda Brown, the court affirmed that education is a fundamental right that must be protected by the fourteenth amendment, and that separate public schools for blacks violate the provison in the Constitution for equal protection of rights. It contended that education is necessary for the performance of one’s basic civic duties and that it was doubtful whether Brown could be expected to succeed as a good citizen if she were denied access to the necessary education.” Source: N. Samuel Murrell. “Brown v. Board of Education” The African American Encyclopedia 1st ed. 1993