Integration Efforts of the South

Mrs. Nettie Hunt, sitting on steps of Supreme Court, holding newspaper, explaining to her daughter Nikie the meaning of the Supreme Court's decision banning school segregation.  Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division LC-USZ62-127042

Library of Congress

Mrs. Nettie Hunt, sitting on steps of Supreme Court, holding newspaper, explaining to her daughter Nikie the meaning of the Supreme Court's decision banning school segregation. Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division LC-USZ62-127042

MasonSheperd

Print page

“We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” – Brown vs. Board of Education

English: Monroe Elementary School - Brown Vs t...
English: Monroe Elementary School – Brown Vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas national historic site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brown vs. Board of Education was a case against whether or not a young girl named Linda Brown was allowed to go to her local school. With help of NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and her parents they sued the board of education. On May 16, 1945 the Supreme court ruled segregation in public schools as unconstitutional. This decision overruled the decision made in Plessy vs. Ferguson, which said that state-sponsored segregation was allowed. The statement “separate but equal” went against the 14th amendment. The 14th amendment said that all freed slaves were citizens of the united states.

The NAACP was founded on February 19th, 1909 by Moorfield Storey, Mary White Ovington and W. E. B. Du Bois. W. E. B. Du Bois was an American historian, psychologist, writer, editor, and a civil-rights activist. He was the first African-American to earn a doctorate. He attended the University of Berlin and Harvard. After school he became a professor at Atlanta University. Moorfield Storey was an American lawyer and anti-imperial activist. He served as the founding president of the NAACP from 1909 to 1929, when he died. Mary White Ovington was an American suffragist and journalist. She was appointed the executive secretary of the NAACP and was a co-founder of the association.

http://www.naacp.org/

In the schools that became integrated, many of the white students moved to private schools that only white families could afford. When at school the African-Americans would be called offensive words and would be harassed by students, parents, and some teachers. They would be protected by police officers on their way to school because they would have tomatoes and other object thrown at them. One girl named Minniejean Brown attended Little Rock Central High School. One day she got suspended because she defended herself after being called offensive things over and over again. She was expelled from school because a girl had thrown her purse at her one morning and Minniejean Brown picked up the purse, then she dropped it on the floor and said “leave me alone, white trash.” After she became expelled people began to say “one down, eight to go.” In an interview Minniejean Brown was asked if she regretted going to Little Rock Central High School. She responded ” No, not at all… We figured out quickly that this experience was not just about us, it was for everyone, because of the letters we got from around the world…”

http://http://www.thirteen.org/unsungheroines/women-cat/minnijean-brown-trickey-environmental-and-civil-rights-activist

During the integration time period, many people harassed African-Americans more and more. Although this was happening to them, they still held their heads up high and went to school everyday and didn’t fight back. While some did, they did it to show that they weren’t going to let people do this to them. This time period is important to not only American history, but the history of the world. These people who braved going to school everyday and being harassed everyday, inspired many people all over the world to stand up for themselves.