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Brown vs. Board of Education. By: Torie Wilkins 1954. Topeka .

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brown vs board of education

Brown vs. Board of Education

By: Torie Wilkins


  • Was a landmark decision of the United States supreme court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students, denying black children equal educational opportunities unconstitutional. This decision overturned earlier rulings going back to plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren court’s unanimous (9-0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
topeka continued
  • As a results, De jure racial segregation was ruled as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amandment of the United States Constitution. This victory paved the way for integration and the civil rights movement.
constitutional issues
Constitutional Issues
  • The central question addressed to the court involved the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. “Does segragation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors may be equal, deprive the children…of equal educational opportunties?” in short, the court was asked to determine whether the segragation of schools was at all constitutional.
an american dilemma
An American Dilemma
  • An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy is a 1944 study of race relations authored by Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal and funded by The Carnegie Foundation. The foundation chose Myrdal because it thought that as a non-American, he could offer a more unbiased opinion. Myrdal's volume, at nearly 1,500 pages, painstakingly detailed what he saw as obstacles to full participation in American society that African-Americans faced as of the 1940s. It sold over 100,000 copies and went through 25 printings before going into its second edition in 1965. It was enormously influential in how racial issues were viewed in the United States, and it was cited in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case "in general." The book was generally positive in its outlook on the future of race relations in America, taking the view that democracy would triumph over racism. In many ways it laid the groundwork for future policies of racial integration and affirmative action.
who wrote the majority opinion
Who wrote the majority opinion?
  • Chief Justice Earl Warren
  • wrote the unanimous opinion of the Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, (1954). The Supreme Court only issues majority and dissenting opinions in cases where the Court is split. In Brown, all nine Justices supported the verdict, but none wrote concurring opinions.
who wrote the dissenting opinion
Who wrote the dissenting opinion?
  • The lawyers for the African American plaintiffs and the school boards argued the cases twice before the Court reached its unanimous decision invalidating segregated education and casting doubt on Plessy v. Ferguson, which seemed to allow segregation in any public facility. Chief Justice Earl Warren's opinion said that the Court could not "turn the clock back" to 1868, when the equal protection clause was adopted, or to 1896; that segregation could "affect the hearts and minds" of African American children "in a way unlikely ever to be undone"; and that schools segregated by law could never be equal.
why is this case a landmark supreme court decision
Why is this case a “landmark” supreme court decision?
  • The Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education overturned the decision made in the 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson, which concluded that segregation was not unconstitutional, because different facilities for blacks and whites were "separate but equal." The Brown case is one of the landmark Supreme Court cases in American history.