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Brown V. Board of Education (1954)

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Stacy Flores

POLS 210 B045 Fall 12

American Government I

Professor Carlos Soltero

Fall Term

Final Exam

Question 1

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

This case dealt with racial segregation in a public school which was the norm across America in the early 1950’s. All schools in a given district were in fact supposed to be equal, however, most black schools were far inferior to white schools. This case was based on a black third grader by the name of Linda Brown in Topeka, Kansas, having to walk a mile through a railroad switchyard to get to her black elementary school even though a white elementary school was only seven blocks away from her home. Oliver Brown, Linda’s father, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school that was one seven blocks away but the principal of the school refused. Oliver Brown then commenced to McKinley Burnett which was the head of Topeka’s branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and asked for their help with this matter. The NAACP in fact helped Mr. Brown due to it’s long desire to challenge segregation in public schools. Other black parents joined Brown in the complaint and in 1951; the NAACP requested an injunction that would forbid the segregation of Topeka’s public schools. The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas heard Brown’s case. At the trial, the NAACP argued that segregated schools sent the message to black children that they were inferior to whites and therefore the schools were inherently unequal along with the curriculum and that any school curriculum cannot be equal under segregation. The Board of Education’s defense was that because of the segregation in Topeka and elsewhere that this only prepared black children for the segregation they would face during adulthood. The court saw the precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson which allowed...

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