Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
In 1951, thirteen black parents living in Topeka, KS, and working with the NAACP tried to enroll their children in the school closest to where they lived, which was a school only for white students. Not surprisingly, they were told that they could not enroll their children in this school. The parents then brought a class action suit against the Topeka Board of Education to try and get it to end its policy of segregated education. The court case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which issued a decision in 1954.
The Supreme Court found in favor of the parents. They stated that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. It is not possible to have "separate but equal" facilities.
In 1950, the American Jewish Committee hired a black psychologist, Kenneth Clark, to study the impact of school segregation on black children. He found that segregated education had a large impact on black children's self-esteem. Clark's research and findings became a major part of the brief prepared by the NAACP in this case.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka." (Viewed on July 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/node/11826/lightbox2>.