Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka: A Summary

Topics: America

The civil rights movement of 19505 gave birth to great changes in American society that helped African-Americans gain equality. When civil rights are being challenged, they do not undergo change without controversy, and the case of Brown v Board of Education of Topeka is no exception. Prior to 1954, it was legal for communities to provide separate facilities for African-Americans, “as long as the facilities were equal to those of whites”, the reality was that the facilities were anything but equal. In the 1954 United States Supreme Court case, Brown v.

Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. In their ruling, the Supreme Court concluded that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place”.

In 1954, the Supreme Court issued “Brown 11”, which mandated that schools need to begin the process of desegregation In “Brown II“, the Court stated that the desegregation of public schools must be done “with all deliberate speed”.

Considering that the “deliberate speed” requirement did not set a specified time limit, many communities did not take measures to desegregate their schools In fact, a “manifesto” supported by southern politicians, school boards, and other activist groups was created in 1956. In order to cease desegregation. Moreover, the policy of desegregation was met with such great dissent that less than twenty-three percent of schools in the South started to desegregate their schools. The most famous instance of Brown v Board of Education of Topeka occurred in Little Rock, Arkansas Little Rock’s Central High School received a federal order requiring them to desegregate their school.

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In response to this order, “an angry white mob” blockaded the entrance to the school, in an effort to stop African-American students from entering.

What is even more disheartening about the ordeal is that the Governor of Arkansas refused to diffuse the situation. The situation escalated to such a great extent that president Eisenhower had to send federal troops to the school in order to avoid violence and to make sure that Little Rock’s Central High School complied with the court orderi. The Brown decision is one of the most pivotal moments in America‘s history of civil rights. It took almost six decades for the United States Supreme Court to reject its ruling in Plessy vi Ferguson, thus ending segregation in public schools. When studying this topic, one must acknowledge two aspects of the case: that this court case was a great stride in the civil rights movement, as it allowed African-Americans to attend the same schools as whites, and the resistance of desegregating schools conveys the inequality African-Americans faced less than sixty years ago.

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Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka: A Summary. (2023, Mar 19). Retrieved from

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