Thurgood Marshall And Segregation

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Segregation is something that is taken very lightly. People with color were segregated from white people. It was a very rough time for people with color. In this research paper I will be talking about the diverse we have become in schools today. Schools were segregated and made it very hard for students of color to learn. White people were given more privilege than people of color. People did not like this, and it was taken to the Supreme Court. On May 17, 1954, the United States. In the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren delivered the unanimous decision. State-sanctioned public-school segregation was a violation of the 14th amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. This was the end of the “separate but equal” era, founded almost 60 years earlier by the Supreme Court, it served as a substance for the expanding civil rights movement in the 1950s.

Although slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, it was not until three years later, in 1868, that the 14th Amendment granted citizenship rights to all people born or naturalized in the United States, including due process and equal protection of laws. These two amendments as well as the fifteenth amendment to safeguard voting rights, were designed to eliminate the last traces of slavery and to uphold black American citizenship. Congress also passed the first Civil Rights Act in 1875, ‘equality of all men before the law’ and called for fines and penalties based on race for anyone found denying patronage of public places such as theaters and inns. By the late 1800s, segregation laws in the South became almost widespread, where for all practical purposes existing legislation and reforms were overlooked. In classrooms, cafes, toilets, on public transport, and even in voting and holding positions, the races are segregated. In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower courts in 1896. The constitutionality of segregated railway coaches was contested by Homer Plessy, a black man from Louisiana, first in state courts and then in the U. S. High Court.

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formally established in 1909 to lead the new movement of black civil rights. By the 1930s, however, NAACP’s efforts began to focus on American society’s full integration. One of their strategies was to force black admission to universities at the graduate level where it would be difficult and expensive for the states to set up separate but equal facilities. Thurgood Marshall, a young black attorney who became general counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1938, was at the frontline of this revolution. Gaines v. Missouri University in 1938, Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma in 1948, and Sweatt v. Painter in 1950 contained their major wins at this point. By the 1950s, the NAACP began to support elementary school segregation challenges. In Missouri, South Carolina, Florida, Columbia District, and Delaware, five separate cases were filed: Oliver Brown et al. v. Topeka Education Board, Shawnee County, Kansas, et al.; Harry Briggs, Jr., et al. v. R.W. Elliott, et al.; Dorothy E. Davis et al. v. Prince Edward County School Board, Virginia, et al.; Thomas Bolling et al. v. C. Spottswood et al. Francis B. Gebhart et al. v. Ethel Louise Belton et al. Melvin Sharpe et al. While each case had its unique elements, it brought them all on behalf of elementary school children, and all involved black schools that were lower than white schools. In each case, the lower courts ruled against the plaintiffs, noting the U.S. Supreme Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson ruling as precedent.

The Supreme Court voted to unanimously hear all five cases in 1952. The classification was important because it was a national issue reflecting school segregation, not just a southern issue. Thurgood Marshall, one of the plaintiff’s lead attorneys (he represented the Briggs case), and his fellow plaintiffs testified to the deleterious effects of segregation on blacks and whites by more than 30 social scientists. The Supreme Court waited until June 1953 to determine that they would rehear claims for all five cases, recognizing the importance of their decision and being torn among themselves. The hearings were set for the next year, when the Court wanted to hear the views of both parties about what Congress had in mind when the 14th Amendment was originally passed about school segregation. President Eisenhower named the new chief justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, governor of California, in September 1953. Eisenhower believed that Warren would follow a moderate course of action in the direction of desegregation. His feelings about the appointment are detailed in the closing paragraphs of the second document, Letter from President Eisenhower to E. E. Hazlett, ‘Swede.’ Thurgood Marshall described the separate but equal ruling as erroneous in his brief to the Warren Court that December and called for an immediate reversal under the 14th amendment. He argued that it allowed the government to ban any race-based state action, including public school segregation.

The new chief justice struggled over the next few months to bring the splintered court together. He understood that clear guidelines and steady enforcement would be important considerations, as the biggest remaining issue among the judges was the social strife that would inevitably accompany their decision. Finally, Chief Justice Earl Warren read the unanimous opinion on May 17, 1954; it was illegal for school segregation by statute. Just over a year later, on 31 May 1955, Warren read the unanimous decision of the Court, now referred to as Brown II, instructing states to launch ‘with all deliberate speed’ desecration plans. The third featured document, Judgment, Brown v. Board of Education, shows the careful wording Warren used to ensure full Court support.

During Brown v. Board of Education, following two majority rulings and precise, if not ambiguous, wording, there was significant opposition to the judgment of the Supreme Court. Besides the apparent disapproving segregationists, there were some constitutional scholars who thought that the ruling was going against legal tradition by relying heavily on data provided by social scientists rather than precedent or established law. Nonetheless, even without specific directions for enforcement, minority groups and leaders of the civil rights movement were assisted by the Brown ruling. Judicial reform supporters claimed that the Supreme Court had used its power effectively to change the constitutional basis to resolve new issues in new times. For the next 15 years, the Warren Court continued that course, deciding decisions that affected not only race relations, but also criminal justice policy, the functioning of the political process, and the separation of church and state.

According to the University of California at Los Angeles ‘ Civil Rights Program, U.S. colleges have become more segregated since 1990, and children in major metropolitan areas have been heavily separated by race and wealth. (George Theoharis) The problem is worse in the Northeast, the region that has never been desegregated in many ways, where students face some of the biggest gaps in academic achievement; in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and the Columbia District. (George Theoharis) This article showed that even colleges became more segregated since the 1990’s which is very recent. This can cause a very negative academic curve to students. Policymakers have tried to create national standards, promote charter schools, carry out high-stakes teacher testing, and tie tests for school penalties and funding. Both efforts tried to improve, but still not very segregate, separate schools

Preventing gaps in achievement and opportunities requires the implementation of a variety of methods of desegregation, such as buses, magnet schools or the merging of school districts, to create a more equitable public education system that successfully educates all children. But since 1988, when education policy shifted away from desegregation efforts, the disparity in reading test score has risen — to 26 points in 2012 — with segregated schooling in every region of the country rising. But people are still thinking of segregation as a past problem, denying its growing presence in today’s classrooms. This was some information from an article that I found that was very interesting to me and showed how schools tests scores differed from being segregated to being desegregated. If we look around there are some schools today that support segregation which is NOT good. There are some private schools for example, Islamic schools, where boys and girls are not allowed in the same classroom because of religious reasons. The kids are okay with that and so are there parents because they know that it’s a part of their religion.

Segregation in schools plays a very big role on the students and their daily educational lives. Back white kids were not accustomed to being in the same classroom or being taught by people of color. However now a days the whole world is full of diversity, which is a very positive thing. We have so much more cultural knowledge because of our diversity, and it helps to gain more knowledge as well. If there was not diversity today, then we may not be as advanced in the world as we are today.


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