Brown vs. Board of Education

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Nicola Hallenborg's Portfolio

Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954), is widely considered one of the most important Supreme Court cases for equal rights of the twentieth century.  Its decision regarding the unconstitutionality of “separate but equal” first established by Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896 was the first time a government institution acknowledged the immorality of segregation.  It gave many the hope for a different society; a new America. However, it should be noted that no significant changes occurred politically until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Acts of 1965.  Yet, despite the delay in political revolutions, Brown vs. Board of Education was powerful in the sense that it created a social awareness of civil inequality.  In a strictly legislative definition of “powerful,” Brown changed absolutely nothing; but in a broader, social interpretation, Brown was the catalyst for civil and social reform.

The Supreme Court’s decision…

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