Term Paper Resource Guide to Twentieth-Century United States History

By Robert Muccigrosso; Ron Blazek et al. | Go to book overview

60.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)
On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the unanimous Supreme Court decision in this case that declared segregation in the nation’s public schools was illegal. Rejecting the ‘‘separate but equal’’ yardstick handed down by the Court more than a half-century earlier in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Warren Court accepted the NAACP’s argument that ‘‘separate’’ was inherently unequal and thereby under-mined the self-esteem of the segregated. The following year, the Court called for implementation of desegregation ‘‘with all deliberate speed,’’ but strong southern opposition as well as a disapproving response from President Eisenhower led to little integration until the 1960s.
Suggestions for Term Papers
1. Compare the judicial arguments of Plessy v. Ferguson and the Brown decision.
2. Discuss the roles of the NAACP and Thurgood Marshall in the Brown case.
3. Discuss President Eisenhower’s response to the Brown decision and to segregation in general.
4. Analyze the efforts to desegregate schools in the South in the decade after the Brown decision.
5. Discuss the long-range effects of desegregation in the nation’s public schools.

Suggested Sources: See entries 9, 64, and 71 for related items.


REFERENCE SOURCES

African American Almanac. L. Mpho Mabunda, ed. Detroit: Gale, 1997. An excellent resource for almost any topic on black history.

African American Encyclopedia. Williams, Michael, ed. Tarrytown, NY: 1993, 8 vols. (6 vols. plus-2 vol. supplement). Extensively covers the

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