Who Was Involved in Brown vs Board of Education?

Who Was Involved in Brown vs Board of Education?

The case of Brown vs Board of Education was a landmark moment in the civil rights movement. But who was involved in this important case?

Read on to learn more about the people who made history with their involvement in Brown vs Board of Education.

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Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was an American lawyer who served as the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 2, 1908. Marshall attended segregated public schools in Baltimore before graduating from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. After being denied admission to the University of Maryland Law School because of his race, Marshallinstead attended Howard University School of Law.

Early Life and Education

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 2, 1908, Thurgood Marshall was a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement. The great-grandson of a slave, Marshall earned a law degree from Howard University. He later argued several cases before the Supreme Court, including Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which outlawed segregation in public schools. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him to the Supreme Court, where he served until his retirement in 1991. Throughout his career, Marshall remained a tireless advocate for equality and social justice. He died on January 24, 1993, at the age of 84.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (NAACP LDF) is an American civil rights organization that is headquartered in New York City. LDF was founded in 1940 as the first legal organization dedicated to fighting for racial justice. LDF’s mission is “to secure the fair treatment of individuals and communities of color through litigation, advocacy, and education.”

LDF has a long history of success in court. In Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. This landmark case was litigated by Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court.

In recent years, LDF has continued its commitment to racial justice by litigating cases that challenge police brutality, mass incarceration, voting rights restrictions, and educational inequity.

Brown v. Board of Education

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, a landmark case in which the Court ruled that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. The ruling began a long process of dismantling racial segregation in the United States.

Thurgood Marshall was the head lawyer for the NAACP when they took on the case of Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas. A Howard University law school graduate, he had been working for the NAACP since 1936. His job was to find cases that could be used to challenge segregation laws. He believed that education was key to equality and that segregated schools were unfair to black children.

In one previous case, Sweatt v. Painter (1950), Marshall had successfully argued that segregated law schools were unconstitutional. He used this same argument in Brown v. Board of Education. The Supreme Court agreed with Marshall and ruled that “separate but equal” public schools were unconstitutional and violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The decision in Brown v. Board of Education was just one step in a long journey toward equality and desegregation in America’s public schools. But it was an important step, one that would not have been possible without Thurgood Marshall’s tireless work on behalf of justice for all Americans.

Oliver Brown

Oliver Brown was the father of Linda Brown, one of the students who was named as a plaintiff in the Brown v. Board of Education case. He was born in 1911 in Kansas. Brown’s family were members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Brown worked as a welder in the Santa Fe Railroad shop in Topeka. In 1951, he attempted to enroll his daughter in the all-white Sumner Elementary School. After being denied enrollment, he decided to take action.

Early Life

Oliver L. Brown was born on September 23, 1918, in Topeka, Kansas. Growing up in the early part of the twentieth century, he experienced firsthand the racism that was prevalent in the United States at that time. When he was eight years old, his family moved to an all-white neighborhood in an effort to escape the Jim Crow laws that segregated blacks and whites in many parts of the country. As a young man, Brown attended Wichita State University and then Washburn University Law School.

After graduation, he returned to Topeka and began practicing law. He also became involved in civil rights issues, serving as chairman of the Kansas branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). In this role, he worked to end segregation in schools and other areas of public life. In 1951, he joined a lawsuits filed by the NAACP against the Topeka Board of Education challenging its policy of racial segregation in public schools. This case eventually became known as Brown v. Board of Education, and it would change the course of history in America.

The Case of Brown v. Board of Education

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. This unanimous ruling stated that “separate but equal” public schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional and violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides for equal protection of all citizens.

The Court’s decision reversed its earlier ruling in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which had allowed states to enforce “separate but equal” laws for public facilities and services such as education. The Brown ruling paved the way for the desegregation of public schools throughout the United States.

Oliver Brown was one of thirteen plaintiffs—all parents of African American children – who filed suit against their local school districts in 1951, alleging that their children’s rights were being violated by segregation in public education. Mr. Brown’s daughter, Linda, was denied admission to her neighborhood elementary school simply because she was black.

The plaintiffs argued that “separate but equal” education was not really equal at all, and that segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that segregated public schools were “inherently unequal” and violated the constitutional rights of African American children.

Later Life

After the Brown decision, Oliver Brown continued to be an outspoken advocate for desegregation and equality. He was one of the founders of the Topeka NAACP, and he served on its executive board for many years. He also continued to work as a minister, serving churches in Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas.

Oliver Brown died in 1961, at the age of 57. His legacy continues through his daughter, Lisa Brown Alexander, who is a civil rights lawyer and activist in her own right. She has worked on several notable cases, including a successful challenge to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

The Other Plaintiffs

Along with Oliver Brown, twenty-two other plaintiffs were involved in the 1954 case, Brown vs. Board of Education. These were all parents of black children who were attending racially segregated schools. Many of these parents were active in the civil rights movement in their local communities.

Dorothy E. Davis

Dorothy E. Davis was one of the thirteen original plaintiffs in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. At the time the suit was filed, she was a sophomore at Topeka High School.

But Davis’ experience with segregation began long before she entered high school. When she was in grade school, she had to walk past two all-white schools to get to her own, all-black school. This walk became known as the “long walk to school.”

And although Davis’ high school had been built specifically for black students, it was still not as good as the white schools. The facilities were old and in poor repair, and there were not enough books or teachers.

So when the NAACP asked for plaintiffs to join the lawsuit against segregation, Dorothy E. Davis was one of the first to step forward.

Lucinda Todd

Lucinda Todd was one of the named plaintiffs in the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education. As a student in Topeka, Kansas, she was denied admission to her local elementary school because of the color of her skin.

In 1951, Lucinda and her family joined with other black families in filing a lawsuit against the Board of Education of Topeka. The case was eventually combined with four other cases from across the country and heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In its landmark ruling on May 17, 1954, the court held that segregated public schools were unconstitutional and violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Lucinda Todd died in 2009 at the age of 76, but her legacy as a civil rights pioneer lives on.

Margaret Washington

Margaret Washington is best known for being the wife of Booker T. Washington. She was born a slave but was freed at the age of nine. She went on to marry Booker T. Washington and they had five children together. Margaret Washington was an active member of the NAACP and helped her husband with his work at Tuskegee University.

The Lawyers

Thurgood Marshall was the chief attorney for the NAACP who argued the case in front of the Supreme Court. Marshall was born in Pennsylvania in 1908 to parents who were slaves. He became a lawyer in 1936 and worked for the NAACP. In 1940, he became the head of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund. He argued 32 cases in front of the Supreme Court, including Brown vs Board of Education.

Spottswood W. Robinson

Spottswood William Robinson III (born August 18, 1916) is an African-American attorney and judge who was a key figure in the desegregation of public schools in Virginia during the 1950s and early 1960s. He later served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1964 to 1985.

George E. C. Hayes

George E. C. Hayes was an African American lawyer who worked on the case of Brown vs Board of Education. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1911 and graduated from the University of Louisville in 1934. He then went on to earn his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1937. After graduation, he returned to Louisville and started working as a lawyer.

In 1954, he was asked to join the legal team that was working on the case of Brown vs Board of Education. This was a landmark case that would eventually lead to the desegregation of schools in the United States. Hayes worked on the case for several years, and it eventually went to the Supreme Court in 1954. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of desegregation, and this ruling changed the course of history for many people in the United States.

Without lawyers like George E. C. Hayes, desegregation may have never happened in the United States. He was a skilled lawyer who fought for what he believed in, and his work helped to make a difference in the lives of many people.

Robert Carter

Robert L. Carter (July 8, 1917 – March 2, 2012) was an American lawyer who argued fourteen cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, winning thirteen of them. His most famous victory was in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which ruled that racial segregation in public education violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Born in Albany, Georgia, Carter was one of eight children born to a Baptist minister and his wife. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1938 and earned his law degree from Howard University School of Law in 1941. During World War II, he served as an officer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

After the war, Carter returned to Howard, where he became a professor and helped to found the Howard University Law Journal. He also served as Dean of the Howard University School of Law from 1954 to 1969. In addition to his work at Howard, he practiced law with the firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York City.

In 1954, Carter was part of the team of lawyers who argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court. The case overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine established by the Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), and is considered one of the most important decisions in American legal history.

After retiring from teaching in 1986, Carter continued to practice law and remained active in civil rights causes until his death in 2012 at the age of 94.

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