In the Midwest town of Topeka, Kansas, a little girl named Linda Brown had to ride the bus five miles to school each day although a public school was located only four blocks from her house. The school wasn't full and the little girl met all of the requirements to attend all but one. Linda Brown was black; blacks weren't allowed to go to white children's schools.It was not until 1954 that the doctrine of "seperate but equal" was challenged. In attempt to gain equal education opportunities for their children that were not provided for under the Plessy v. Fergusen decision, African-American community leaders took action against the segregation in America's schools. Aided by the local chapter of the NAACP, a group of thirteen parents filed a class action suit against the Board of Education of Topeka Schools.
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in a unaminous decision that the "separate but equal" clause was unconsitutional because it violated the children's fourteenth amendment rights by separating them solely on the classification of the color of their skin.
Chief Justice Warren delivered the court's opinion, stating that "segregated schools are not equal and cannot be made equal, and hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws." This ruling in favor of integration was one of the most significant strides America has taken in favor of civil liberties.
The change against segregated schools did not come without a fight. Southern activists and politicians resisted the move and did much to stop integration from invading their states. In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was forced to send National Guard troops to Little Rock High School to protect the first entering black students. The battle was long and hard, but progress finally came. To this day, efforts continue...