Brown vs. Board of Education: National Historic Site

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Brown vs. the Board of Education National Historic Site is located in Topeka, Kansas. This monument was inspired by the historical event that transpired in 1954 and is noted as one of the greatest Supreme Court rulings.

The Brown vs. Board of Education was combined of four other cases- as a collective, known as The Five Cases. In 1947, Gardner Bishop and the Consolidated Parents Group Inc., started a campaign to end segregated schools in D.C. In 1950, Bishop attempted to get 11 black students into the new high school in the area, but they were denied. Bishop hired a lawyer and took it to court, but it was thrown out. So, they took it to the Supreme Court to be considered along with the other four cases. In the end it got a different ruling considering that the fourteenth amendment didn’t apply to the District of Columbia. In 1951, two cases were filed in Delaware, Belton vs. Gebhart and Bulah vs. Gebhart. These two cases were combined because they held the same issues. Kids were told to go to school in the next city when there was a school that was closer to them. In addition to that, the children weren’t provided transportation.

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In 1950, the case Briggs vs. Elliot was led by Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP legal team. Harry Briggs was one of 20 parents that requested that the county provide school buses for the black kids since the white kids were afforded that amenities. Their wishes were ignored by the schools, so they filed a lawsuit against R.W Elliot, the president of the board. In 1951, Davis vs. County School Board involved 450 students protesting the poor conditions in their schools for two weeks. They took it to district court, but like the other cases, it was thrown out. So again, this case went to the Supreme Court.

Jim Crow schools weren’t afforded the same education as schools in white neighborhoods. Black children were being taught agricultural and domestic skills for when they got old enough to work for the betterment of the white economy. 98% of the black community held jobs as cooks, sharecroppers, housekeepers, laundresses, nursemaids, and factory workers. A portion of the remaining 2% were left to teach the children. A group of parents attempted to send their children to the nearest white school so they could have a better education, but they were denied access. One of the parents, Oliver Brown, felt the decision to give white children better education than black kids was unlawful. In conclusion, they weren’t separate but equal. Brown went to file a lawsuit but the judge through his case out ruling that the schools were equal enough. He then went to the Supreme Court for an appeal- with Thurgood Marshall being their chief counsel.

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