On this day in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
The case dealt with the case of Linda Brown, a young Black student who had been denied admission to her neighborhood elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of her race.
The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation related to public education under the concept of “separate but equal.”
The court’s opinion, which was written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, stated that the prevailing “separate but equal” doctrine was unconstitutional because segregation created an inherent stamp of inferiority upon African-Americans. The decision was considered significant in the nation’s civil rights history.
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