ERIC Number: EJ700928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: N/A
An End and a Beginning: The Fiftieth Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education--The Landmark Case that Led to the Abolition of School Segregation
Landman, James H.
Social Education, v68 n1 p17 Jan-Feb 2004
On May 17, 2004, the United States will observe the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. By invalidating the doctrine of "separate but equal" in the field of public education, a doctrine that had been approved by the same court nearly sixty years earlier in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Brown decision removed the legal foundation for the system of official segregation--the infamous "Jim Crow" laws--that dictated the structure of race relations across much of our nation. Brown has rightly been identified as a watershed event in our constitutional history, setting the stage for the civil rights movement that transformed the landscape of American society and politics. The legacy of the decision and the issues it raised continue to reverberate in our society today. This article offers a brief history of the individuals and events behind the decision. It begins with the Plessy decision's impact and the early efforts to contain that impact which [aid the groundwork for Brown v. Board. The article then looks at the individual stories of the cases challenging public school segregation that were eventually consolidated under the name of Brown v. Board of Education. It concludes with a description of the efforts within the Supreme Court to bring nine justices together in a decision that would bring an end to segregation by law in American society.
Descriptors: Constitutional Law, United States History, Desegregation Litigation, School Segregation, School Desegregation, Public Education, Civil Rights, Racial Relations, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Controversial Issues (Course Content)
National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Web site: http://www.nsta.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware; District of Columbia; Kansas; South Carolina; Virginia
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; Fifth Amendment; Fourteenth Amendment; Plessy v Ferguson