Roberts v. City of Boston

(1850)

The case of Sarah C. Roberts v. The City of Boston brought the first challenge to segregated schools in the United States. The case was argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Court in December 1849, and the court handed down its decision in April 1850. The case established the principle of “separate but equal” that was used to codify racial segregation in education and other aspects of public life for more than a century. Roberts v. Boston began with a movement to end the practice of separating white and black students in Boston’s primary schools. Although the local body governing...

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Charles Sumner (Library of Congress)

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