Brown v. Board of Education

(1954)

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared that legally mandated segregation in public schools was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. A landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education was actually a combination of five cases that challenged school segregation in Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia, and Topeka, Kansas. In a companion case, Bolling v. Sharpe, segregation in the District of Columbia's public schools was declared unconstitutional under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Brown v. Board of Education was a pivotal case in the history of the Supreme Court. Although Brown v. Board of Education did not explicitly reverse the Court's earlier ruling in the 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson, which permitted states to provide “separate but equal” facilities for people of different races, it was clearly the beginning of the end of the Supreme Court's willingness to give...

Image for: Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education (National Archives and Records Administration)

View Full Size