Published on March 9, 2014
Brown v. Board of Education: Brown v. Board of Education Chad Shrout, Charlean Parker, James Yi, Tonya Smith APU 585 Matthew Witmer Legal Summary Development of the Case Scenario: James Yi: Development of the Case Scenario: James Yi Development of the Case Scenario: Development of the Case Scenario Segregation, desegregation, and re-segregation have occurred throughout the history of the United States; they continue today within the confines of the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court Case of Plessy v . Ferguson (1896) resulted and was the first achievement in the systematic segregation of African Americans by interpreting “separate but equal” facilities as not a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14 th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Segregation within the United States from 1896 to mid 20 th century was justified by the court rulings of Plessy v . Ferguson. Development of the Case Scenario cont…: Development of the Case Scenario cont… One such case was the NAACP endorsed Oliver Brown et al. v . The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in 1951. Thirteen African American parents filed a class action law suit against the systematic segregation of Black and White schools and students. Specifically the denial of their children from attending White schools. The plaintiffs lost the case. The District court of Kansas cited Plessy and an 1879 state law in Kansas that permitted separate schools. Development of the Case Scenario cont…: Development of the Case Scenario cont… The plaintiffs in Oliver Brown et al. v . The Board of Education in Topeka appealed the District Court decision, and eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court along with four other appeals from other similar court cases and the decisions based on verdicts against African American plaintiffs in their states that “separate but equal” was constitutional under the 14 th Amendment. All five cases were represented by the NAACP before and during the Supreme Court hearings. Lawyers such as Spottswood Robinson, Oliver Hill, and Thurgood Marshall argued that Black students’ had equal rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. Development of the Case Scenario cont…: Development of the Case Scenario cont… The NAACP leadership advised, encouraged, and requested the plaintiffs to attempt to enroll their children into White schools and they were denied access which prompted the court cases. The goal was to reverse state and federal laws regarding “separate but equal” as a violation of the Equal Protect Clause of the 14 th Amendment. Not all cases involved parents and their attempt to enroll their children but one of the cases started from a student protest. These attempts to reverse state and federal laws resulted in a coherent and collective Supreme Court Case, which is widely known as Brown v. Board of Education. Development of the Case Scenario cont…: Development of the Case Scenario cont… Before the final decision was made by the U.S. Supreme Court, prior hearings were heard in 1953 but without a final decision. The Justices of the court made arguments and re-arguments based on prior court cases. One such case was Menendez et al. v. Westminster School District of Orange County (1946), which resulted in separate schools for children from Mexican descent as unconstitutional. Development of the Case Scenario cont…: Development of the Case Scenario cont… African Americans prior to Brown demonstrated their grievances through the legal system but also protested the “separate but equal” clause through boycotts, sit-ins, and other ways to demonstrate. Development of the Case Scenario cont…: Development of the Case Scenario cont… The “road to Brown” was a successful one because the Supreme Court justices used case law to make their final decisions. Menendez was one of may cases heard by the courts. Another successful decision for equality came from Herman Marion Sweatt . The Supreme Court in 1950 ruled the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth amendment was violated by the University of Texas Law School for denying admission although state law legitimized segregation. The development of the Brown case started from prior protests and lawsuits. Many of of the plaintiffs were sponsored by the NAACP and other civil rights groups and leaders to create national and international awareness. The rulings varied, and decisions against the plaintiffs were necessary to escalate the grievances to the Supreme Court, such as the case of Brown v . The Board of Education. APPELLATE PROCESS REPORTER: TONYA SMITH : APPELLATE PROCESS REPORTER: TONYA SMITH PowerPoint Presentation: APPELLATE PROCESS REPORTER: TONYA SMITH PowerPoint Presentation: BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA, KANSAS Brown v. Board of Education was a group of appeals that challenged the Board of Education for separate but equal laws for racial segregation in public schools in five states that reached the Supreme Court around the same time, one of being Topeka, Kansas. The Kansas case arrived first, the combined appeals became known as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, et. al. NAACP ATTORNEY’S Spottswood Robinson, Oliver Hill Thurgood Marshall: NAACP ATTORNEY’S Spottswood Robinson, Oliver Hill Thurgood Marshall The legal office of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP) were the attorney’s for Oliver Brown in which the attorney’s argued that African American students rights had been violated under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The main issues were school structures, curriculum, and transportation. A suburban neighborhood in Kansas City, white students looked forward to moving into their new brick school, while the 88 year-old school that the African American students attended had two rooms, no indoor plumbing, no cafeteria, and no principal. Esther Brown learned from her maid (an African American) about the conditions at the school (Walker School). Mrs. Brown began a campaign to improve the facility. She took her complaints to the all white school board. The board agreed to make minimal improvements such as installing new light bulbs, this made Mrs. Brown upset; she began to organize meetings with African American parents and tried to rally white parents to join her cause. Mrs. Brown got an African American Topeka attorney, Elisha Scott to file suit against South Park District.: A suburban neighborhood in Kansas City, white students looked forward to moving into their new brick school, while the 88 year-old school that the African American students attended had two rooms, no indoor plumbing, no cafeteria, and no principal. Esther Brown learned from her maid (an African American) about the conditions at the school (Walker School). Mrs. Brown began a campaign to improve the facility. She took her complaints to the all white school board. The board agreed to make minimal improvements such as installing new light bulbs, this made Mrs. Brown upset; she began to organize meetings with African American parents and tried to rally white parents to join her cause. Mrs. Brown got an African American Topeka attorney, Elisha Scott to file suit against South Park District. ESTHER BROWN WALKER SCHOOL, 1948 PowerPoint Presentation: Mrs. Brown paid a price for her activism, she was threatened, a cross was burned in her yard, and her husband was fired from his job. Her lawsuit led to a victory in Kansas Supreme Court in 1949. In the summer of 1950, NAACP’s Topeka Secretary, Lucinda Todd, wrote to Walter White, NAACP President stating the segregation situation need to be called for legal action. The president replied by saying “words will not express the humiliation and disrespect in this matter”. Robert Carter, lead attorney for this case filed in the federal district court and that’s when the case began to take shape. Please click on video below: The NAACP began recruiting African American parents of Topeka Elementary School children who might be willing to participate in the lawsuit. Eventually, the Kansas branch had thirteen willing parents and their twenty elementary age children to serve as plaintiffs. : The NAACP began recruiting African American parents of Topeka Elementary School children who might be willing to participate in the lawsuit. Eventually, the Kansas branch had thirteen willing parents and their twenty elementary age children to serve as plaintiffs. Some of the students and parents that were plaintiffs. Linda Brown and classmates at Monroe Elementary PowerPoint Presentation: The first plaintiff listed in the complaint was a 32 year-old assistant minister and welder named Oliver Brown who had an 8 year-old daughter named Linda Brown, that attended an all African American school (Monroe Elementary) that was located four miles away from her home. A closer school was only four blocks but because of her skin color she was unable to attend the closer school. Sumner Elementary School near Linda Brown home only four blocks. Monroe Elementary School four miles from Linda Brown’s home. Oliver Brown Brown Family Linda Brown PowerPoint Presentation: On February 21, 1951 the complaint was filed with the United States District Court for Kansas. The trial was set for June 25, 1951. On August 3, 1951, a three judge panel upholds the Topeka Boards Policy on the basis of Plessy, but had nine findings that indicated the policy is harmful to the education of Topeka’s African American students. The NAACP announces it will appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court. PowerPoint Presentation: 1952 The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Brown v. Board of Education. Thurgood Marshall, who will later become the first African American justice on the Supreme Court, is the lead counsel for the black school children. 1953 The Supreme Court hears the second round of arguments in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 1954 In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education overturns Plessy and declares that separate schools are "inherently unequal." The Court delays deciding on how to implement the decision and asks for another round of arguments. 1955 Between 1955 and 1960, federal judges will hold more than 200 school desegregation hearings. Brown v. Board of Education Topeka ET.AL.: Brown v. Board of Education Topeka ET.AL. Team 3 Chad Shrout Supreme Court Analysis Supreme Court Analysis: Supreme Court Analysis Minors of the Negro race sought aid to obtain admission to public school on a non-segregated basis Deprived the plaintiffs equal protection under the 14 th amendment Plaintiffs contend segregated schools are not “equal” and could not be made “equal” First Cases: First Cases The Court interpreted the 14 th amendment as proscribing all state-imposed discriminations against the Negro race. Six cases involved in “separate but equal” in the field of public education and were referenced Cumming v. County Board of education 175 U.S. 528 Gong Lum v. Rice 275 U.S. 78 Gaines v. Canada 305 U.S. 337 Sipuel v. Oklahoma 332 U.S. 631 Sweatt v. Painter 339 U.S. 629 McLaurin v. Oklahoma State 339 U.S. 637 Findings: Findings Negro and While schools involved have been equalized, or are being equalized, in regards to buildings, curricula, qualifications, salaries and other tangible factors Courts could not rely on the tangible factors , but rather look at the effect of segregation itself in public education. Findings (Continued): Findings (Continued) The court found it would be doubtful any child may be expected to succeed if denied the opportunity for an education It is a right which must be available to all on equal terms The court felt “tangible” factors may be equal, but deprive children of a minority group equal education opportunities Findings in the Kansas Case: Findings in the Kansas Case Segregation of children has detrimental effect upon the colored children A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn Segregation has a tendency to slow the education and mental development of negro children It will deprive them of the benefits they would received in an integrated school Conclusion: Conclusion Separate but equal has no place in the field of public education Separate facilities are adherently unequal This disposition makes unnecessary an discussion whether such segregation also violates the Due Process Clause of the 14 th amendment Translator of Decision to Practice: : Translator of Decision to Practice: Charlean Parker Brown vs. Board of Education Group 3 Brown vs. Board of Education: Brown vs. Board of Education Who was involved/Names of the different cases involved. The case included five different cases. Briggs v. Elliot Davis v. Board of Education of Prince Edward County Boiling v. Sharpe Gebhert v. Ethel. The case was handled by Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense Team. Thurgood Marshall “White” only Schools vs. “Colored” Schools: “White” only Schools vs. “Colored” Schools The Battle Brown vs. Board of Education came about because of the segregation in the public school system. Students were denied admittance solely based on skin color. The five cases that are involved all deal with African-Americans not being able to attend schools because of their skin color. The “3” Amendments: The “3” Amendments 13 th , 14 th ,15 th …… 13 th Amendment: abolishes slavery 14 th Amendment: says that anyone born in the United States is an American citizen including African-Americans. 15 th Amendment: prohibits any U.S. government to deny anyone based on color and race. Also allows African-Americans the right to vote. Why the “3” When looking at this case and other cases similar the plaintiff (African-Americans) would use these three amendments as their supporting evidence. They felt the constitution clearly states that what you are doing is wrong, in some cases it helped once the case reached the Supreme Court and in other cases it did not help. The End: The End The court ruled in Favor of….. Once the case came to a close which took almost 3 years from the day the case made it to the Supreme Court, the court finally ruled in favor of the plaintiff and desegregation began. May 14, 1954 the Supreme Court stated, “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Final Thought: Final Thought When I look at these cases I always think of how far African-Americans have come as a culture. Going from not being able to go places because they were black to now holding high positions in our country. When I look at these cases I also think about how far education has come as well. I tell my students all the time that if we were in the times of my ancestors and fore fathers I would not be their teacher because I am black. As a future leader in education I think about what my reaction would be and that would be one filled with prayer and guidance from other leaders. Principals of the future have many obstacles from the past that they can use to help them through any situation they are dealing with. Brown vs. Board of Education definitely helped not just African-Americans but many other nationalities to begin integrating into the “whites” only schools.