The ruling in this case was ground-breaking. It was made by the supreme court of the United States. It overturned previous rulings dating back to Plessy v Ferguson (1896). There was increased cases of segregation on racial grounds in most states of the United States before 1952. For instance, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kansas. Even though the African American and the Whites were provided with equal facilities by the law, the enjoyment of the facilities was under separate conditions. For instance, they used different buses and went to different schools. The victory of the case resulted in the abolishment of the segregation rule hence the Whites, and the blacks began to attend the same schools (Kluger, 1976).
Before the case, U.S. was under the rule of segregation of the highest magnitude ever in the history of America. This was the second most prominent lawsuit after ‘Plessy v Ferguson’ (1896) that explicitly voted against racism and segregation. This courts claimed that as long as there was equal, but different infrastructure for the two races, there was no segregation.
Many state legislatures had enacted laws that led to legally binding form of segregation of the races. The laws in these states stated that the black and whites could not use the same government provided facilities, ride on the same bus and go to the same educational institutions.
It was not until 1890s that the Jim Crow Laws were challenged in Court in a case between Plessy v Ferguson (1896). A White man took Plessy to court because he had refused to make room for him on the train. Justice Henry Billings Brown ruled the case against Plessy.After several attempts to end segregation against the African Americans, a famous case under the name Brown v Board of Education came into force. The five cases that were in court during that same period and had the same problem of segregation were consolidated and referred to as Brown v Board of Education. They were all fighting against segregation of the African Americans.
As part of apartheid and subordination of the black people in America, their schools were underfunded during the twentieth century. This happened despite African Americans contributing a third of their children population in the United States. In the south, only 12% of the funds were allocated to the public education system for the black people.
The segregation was in collaboration with the statement made by A. A. Kincannon who said that the education system of America was designed for the white children and incidentally for the black children. That was why one could get African American churches trying to support schools and colleges to bridge the gap in education facilities.
The formation of NAACP began the first fight against segregation through the courts. It called for a meeting with other legal personnel to decide on how to stage an attack on segregated educational infrastructure. In the meeting, the organization resolved that all cases that were addressing segregation in the education sector would fight for non-segregated education system. As a result, there was a proposal to incorporate the five school desegregation cases into one. It was called Brown v Board of Education. This was the case that out did Plessy v Ferguson (1896).
The case was brought into court in the late 1952. The lawyers representing the five cases stated that the segregation of schools dishonored 14th amendment’s pledge of ‘equal safeguard of the laws.’ The lawyers also stated that segregation violated the student’s fifth amendment rights to allow them rights to life, property, and liberty without due procedures of law.
In 1951, the parents whose children had been denied access to white elementary schools nearby filed a lawsuit against the Topeka BOE. Reverend Oliver Brown was the first parent listed in the suit and the lone male; the case was named after him. The court ruled against them, though, it stated that the segregation of the blacks was negatively affecting them. He appealed in the Supreme Court with the collaboration of NAACP.
Segregation in the education system finally came to an end with the ruling made by Chief Justice Warren. In the ruling, particular highlights were made. The Judge said that, in the respective cases, the young ones of the African American people were seeking help from the courts on segregation basis. They were requesting acceptance of their race to the public schools without segregation arising. The black children were denied permission to join schools attended by the white children. This was under the law that was in agreement with segregation according to race (Bell, 2004).
The segregation was intended to deny the Plaintiffs even care of the laws under the 14th Amendment. In most of the cases, federal district court had the plaintiffs denied their rights on the grounds that they were working under a system of separate but equal. Furthermore, under this principle, equality means that the two races are granted the same treatment and similar facilities although they are independent.
In a case such as Delaware’s, the plaintiffs were ordered to be given permission to join white school because they were brighter in the other African American schools. In the ultimate judgment, it was stated that the principle of ‘separate but equal’ did not hold. Use of separate institutions by the Whites and Blacks was considered unequal. The judge further said that the African children were denied even protection of laws like the white children as was guaranteed by the Fourteenth amendment. A year later, the court issued a ruling that ordered educational institutions should integrate as soon as possible.
However, the alteration that the Supreme Court had demanded, did not happen overnight. Many States refused to abide by the ruling. On most occasions, the problem of integrating the schools was hardly done peacefully. In Little Rock, a section of the military was used to protect the black students who had joined Little Rock Public school. This was an experiment trying to prove whether the blacks would blend in with the white schools successfully or not. Even though there was a lot of tension, the policy was enforced (Byrne, 2005).
Additionally, integration of schools made many black many black schools run out of business. Many black tutors were no longer employed. They were not given employment opportunities in the white schools. This resulted from the outlawing of Jim Crow law. As the Board of Education rules was being enforced, many white parents moved their children to private schools.
Some researchers claim the case generated hatred and fights between the two races and class. They further stated that it is the conflict that changed education in America. The most significant component of this case was the case challenged the people’s old ways of thoughts and what they were used to.
Bell, Derrick A. Silent covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the unfulfilled hopes for racial reform. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.
Kluger, Richard. Simple justice: the history of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's struggle for equality. New York: Knopf, 19761975. Print.