A History of Our Time: Readings on Postwar America

By William H. Chafe; Harvard Sitkoff et al. | Go to book overview

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Supreme Court of the United States

In the years following World War II, racially segregated schools were the norm in the United States. In much of the nation the segregation was de facto, the result of residential segregation and economic inequality that was created, in large part, by racial prejudice and discrimination. But in twenty states—most of them in the South—school segregation was de jure, or by law. Although the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had used the courts to challenge “Jim Crow” laws since the 1930’s, arguing that legal segregation violated the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the challenges foundered upon the precedent created by Plessy v. Ferguson. This 1896 Supreme Court decision established a doctrine of “separate but equal”: segregation of public facilities by race was not in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment so long as the facilities were equal in quality. In fact, the public schools designated for “Negroes” were rarely equal to those for whites. In the most extreme cases, they lacked everything from textbooks to indoor plumbing. But the NAACP was not seeking better enforcement of the “separate but equal” principle; instead it sought the “right” cases with which to challenge school segregation in the Supreme Court.

Such a case emerged in Topeka, Kansas, in 1951. Oliver Brown, father of a third grader named Linda, sought the help of the NAACP to challenge the restriction that forced his small daughter to travel a great distance to a “black” elementary school even though the “white” school was within walking distance of her home. The U.S. District Court heard Oliver Brown’s case against the Topeka Board of Education in June 1951. NAACP lawyers argued that segregated schools were inherently unequal; the Board of Education lawyers argued that segregated schools prepared students for life in a segregated society. While the District Court agreed with the NAACP expert witnesses that segregation had a detrimental effect on black children, it was not willing to overturn Plessy. The NAACP and Oliver Brown appealed to the Supreme Court.

The case that came before the Supreme Court in December 1952 as Brown

-121-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A History of Our Time: Readings on Postwar America
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 482

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.