The minors of the Negro race, through their legal representatives, seek the aid of the courts in obtaining admission to the public schools of their community on a nonsegregated basis. In each instance they had been denied admission to school attended by white children under law requiring or permitting segregation according to race. this segregation was alleged to deprived the plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs contend that segregated school are not “equal” and cannot be made “equal”. This “law” deprived the Black student of having the same rights as the white students. – Brown vs. Board of Education May 17th, 1954
-( source The American Vision text book)
Plessy v. Ferguson = a Supreme Court decision in 1896 that allowed “Jim Crow” segregation laws. The decision held that segregated public facilities were constitutional so long as the blacks and white’s facilities were equal to each other. This became known as “separate but equal”.
Segregation= the institutional separation of an ethnic, racial, religious, or other minority group from the dominant majority
Jim Crow Laws = any state law discriminating against a black person or a person of color.
What were the results of Brown v. Board of Education? The nation made great strides toward opening the doors of education to all students because this decision made it unconstitutional to have any type of segregation law in public schools. The court said there was no such thing as “separate but equal”.
When and how did desegregation take place in Virginia? The desegregation of the public schools in Virginia began on February 2, 1959, and continued through early in the 1970’s when the state’s local government efforts to resist desegregation ended.
What was “massive resistance” in Virginia? This policy was a law that cut off state funding and closed any public school that attempted to integrate. It was also a practice by whites of enrolling in new private schools instead of remaining in the public school system.
“We conclude that in the field of public education, The southern states ultimately created a dual educational system based on race “The doctrine of separate but equal”.
Even though the US constitution gave all African Americans the same rights as the whites, the southern states refused to let the Blacks have the same rights as them,too may of the southern whites who were members of organizations like the K.K.K.. would rather kill all the blacks and whoever tries to help them.
The commitment of African American teachers and parents to education never faltered, they established a tradition of education self-help and were among the first southerners to campaign for universal public schools.
In order for integration to succeed the local communities needed to accept the equality of rights for all and get over their fear, prejudice and racism. This is true for any Civil Rights change in America. It begins and ends with the individual citizens working together. Education happens in small local communities. America’s public schools educate as a way to form good citizens. If we educate in racism then it will be very hard to erase its effects. If we educate in human rights then we will create better world citizens in the future.
Can School Segregation still happen today?
Moving forward in America today we need to be careful that we do not slide back into our old ways of unequal opportunity through unfair discrimination of school populations. Recently there has been some debate about Loudon County as one of the nation’s wealthiest beginning to change its school boundaries to affect poor hispanics unfairly. See more on this current story HERE.