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In 1951, thirteen parents in Kansas filed a case against the board of education on behalf of their children. The class action suit, Brown v. Board of Education, was filed against the Board of Education of Topeka in Kansas by the African American parents. On behalf of their children, the African American parents were seeking the courts intervention to allow their children attend any school of their choices.This was during the period when educational institutions were segregated on racial basis, allowing schools to be either designated whites’ only or blacks only. The decision by the Supreme Court overturned the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson that had declared that segregating certain members of the society in terms of their race; a violation of the fourteenth amendment that grants equal protection for the citizens. The 1896 decision had allowed states to segregate American education institutions in terms of races, thereby allowing the establishment of blacks’ or whites’ only schools. The landmark ruling, therefore, declared the establishment of such separate education institutions unconstitutional.
Importance of the decision
The Supreme Court’s decision that declared schools segregation unconstitutional paved way for the African American children to have access to education institutions of their choice. Although it is stated that “all men are equal” in the declaration of independence, this principle was not full applicable in the American laws for many decades. Brown v. Board of Education gave the American society an opportunity to reexamine its application. The court in this suit, found that segregation was in violation of the fourteenth amendment and hence, unconstitutional. Given that during this period most of the social amenities were segregated on racial basis the suit gave precedence for dealing with segregation issues. Therefore, a legal precedence was set that clearly outlawed treating parts of the society differently because of their skin cooler. This case also gave the African American community to access educational facilities of their choice implying that they could access public educational institutions that had better facilities that the blacks only schools. In effect, the decision by the Supreme Court made quality education more accessible to the American society. In addition, the suit helped support the civil rights movement arguments that were in favor of the ending segregation. Thus, the decision by the Supreme Court played a role in the eventual elimination of outright racism. In the process, the affirmed the declaration of an equal society as spelled out in the declaration of independence. As well as helping the country to upholding the fourteenth amendment that guarantees equal protection in the American society.
Impact on the American society
Brown v. Board of Education changed the outlook on segregation in the America society. The court decision declared segregation in schools unconstitutional opening avenues for the reexamination of segregation in other aspects of the American society. The court found that by separating students on the basis of their races had psychological effects and was detrimental on the well being of those discriminated against by declaring them inferior. In effect, the decision affirmed and clarified the equal protection doctrine paving way for its effective application. Among the other change that this ruling helps foster, in the American society is that of equal treatment in American. The ruling simply declared that all the citizens equal in the eyes of the law by ensuring that the laws supported equal treatment were fairly applied and interpreted. The Supreme Court also led the way in declaring segregation unconstitutional and detrimental to the American society and thus gave the civil rights activists more ground to champion their causes.