Brown v. Board of Education: An Issue In Civil Rights History

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One of the biggest supreme court cases in history is, without a doubt, Brown vs. Board of education. This case came about because of one little girl and a father who took initiative in order for his daughter to have an equal opportunity with her education.

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The story of Linda Brown takes place in Topeka, Kansas where, as an elementary schooler, was forced as a child to travel two miles across Topeka, Kansas to attend an all-black elementary school rather than going to the white school that was mere blocks from her home (Rothman 1). Her father filed a lawsuit claiming that this situation went against their 14th amendment rights. The 14th amendment in the United States Constitution, according to Laura F. Edwards, states that …the Fourteenth Amendment established birthright citizenship and provided federal protection of civil rights, and prohibited states from discriminating on the basis of race (310). Linda was not allowed to attend the all white school solely on the basis of her skin color clearly a violation of their basic rights according the the constitution. This case would eventually become one of the biggest court cases in civil rights history. Three reasons the supreme court case Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas had such an important impact on the history of the United States is because it desegregated schools, led to the outlaw of Jim Crow laws, and helped paved the way to reversing the verdict of Plessy vs. Ferguson.

Before explaining the different ways the case Brown vs. Board of Education had an impact on U.S. history, it is important to understand what the NAACP was and who was involved with it. NAACP is an acronym for …the National Association for the Advancements of Colored People (Gregory Nelson Hite 297).  This association is important when telling the story of Brown vs. BoE because without the NAACP there may not have been a court case at all. The beginning stages of the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People started during …the Springfield, Illinois, race riot of 1908, in which two black people were lynched and more than 50 injured (Boyd S3). It was because of this that one man named William English Walling decided to write about it. His wiring about the horrors that had taken place caught the eye of of a white woman by the name of Mary White. With the ideas laid out by the activist named W.E.B. Dubois and the initiative taken by William Walling, Mary White Ovington, Henry Moskowitz, and soon after, Oswald Garrison Villard, Charles Edward Russell, Bishop Alexander Walters, and Reverend William Henry Brooks that would create the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people that helped paved the way to becoming the organization we know today. 

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