Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

Start Free Trial

Explain how the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson case from the Reconstruction era?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First of all, we must note that Plessy is not from the Reconstruction era.  Reconstruction ended in 1877.  Plessy was decided in 1896.

That said, Brown certainly did overturn Plessy.  The decision in Plessy held that segregation on trains was legal so long as the accommodations for the two...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

First of all, we must note that Plessy is not from the Reconstruction era.  Reconstruction ended in 1877.  Plessy was decided in 1896.

That said, Brown certainly did overturn Plessy.  The decision in Plessy held that segregation on trains was legal so long as the accommodations for the two races were “separate but equal.”  That logic was applied to all areas of public life.  So long as schools were officially equal, it was legal for them to be separate.

The Brown decision threw out this logic, at least for public schools.  It held that, in the case of public schools, separate facilities could never truly be equal.  This overturned the meat of the doctrine from Plessy.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team