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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Essay Example

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Essay

In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court agreed with the position taken by Linda Brown and Thurgood Marshall that segregation prevents equality. The Supreme Court acknowledged that segregation on the basis of skin color creates feelings of inferiority and separate educational facilities are unequal (Henretta, Edwards and Self January 2012). The Supreme Court’s decision confirmed that constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens and doesn’t permit racial discrimination. Not surprisingly, the outcome of the case paved the way for civil rights movement.

The outcome of the case was a clear acknowledgement by the Supreme Court that equality is not possible under the ‘separate but equal doctrine’ because African Americans were being provided inferior quality services. The case also sent message to civil rights leaders that it was possible to secure equal rights in non-violent manner and they had to increase their activism.

The outcome of the case was also a testament to the fact that separate but equal doctrine may work in theory but not in practice because it only leads to systematic discrimination. Supreme Court sent a clear message that African Americans had to be fully integrated into the society. They had to be provided access to the same services that were available to the white majority.

Another significance of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka is that Supreme Court acknowledged the psychological impact of segregation on minorities and how it may lead to lifetime sense of alienation from the society. The decision also forced the federal government to do more rather than just sitting by idly and hoping society will improve on its own. The most prominent example may be federal intervention when nine black students were prevented from enrolling in a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas (Henretta, Edwards and Self January 2012).

Reference

“The Age of Affluence, 1945-1960.” In America: A Concise History, by James A. Henretta, Rebecca Edwards and Robert O. Self, 817. Bedford/St. Martin’s, January 2012.

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