ERIC Number: EJ727316
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: N/A
The Road to Brown, Its Leaders, and the Future
Education and Urban Society, v36 n3 p255-265 2004
The 50th anniversary of the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in "Brown v. Board of Education" provides an opportunity to trace the origin of "Brown" and the long journey by African Americans to achieve quality elementary and secondary education in this country. This journey began with passage of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1868, which applied the Bill of Rights to the states. This action gave the newly freed slaves the same legal rights as White Americans, citizenship and equality under the law and due process protection against state action under the Bill of Rights. Even though public education did not exist for Blacks when the amendment was enacted, it gave Blacks protection against future negative state action. This journey was slowed in 1896 when the Court in "Plessy v. Ferguson" ruled that the doctrine of separate but equal could satisfy the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the 1940s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) forcefully renewed the journey again. In 1954, the Court reversed the "Plessy" ruling and held that de jure, state enforced racially segregated education did not meet constitutional requirements. This article reviews this history and makes projections for the future of public education for African Americans, 135 years after this journey began with passage of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Descriptors: African Americans, United States History, Civil Rights, Elementary Secondary Education, Public Education, Equal Protection, Court Litigation, Desegregation Litigation, Racial Segregation, School Desegregation
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Bill of Rights; Fourteenth Amendment