In what field did the Brown v. Board of Education overturn a previous ruling?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the 1954 case of Brown v Board of Education. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled it was legal to have segregation as long as the facilities were equal. Thus, the concept of separate schools based on race was acceptable if the school facilities were equal.

In the Brown v Board of Education court case, this concept was challenged. Linda Brown’s father wanted his daughter to go to the school closest to her home. He felt it was unfair that his daughter had to travel a greater distance to go to school than other kids in the neighborhood. The Supreme Court ruled in this case that the concept of separate but equal schools was unconstitutional.

White southerners vilified this decision. It led to the Southern Manifesto. 101 members of Congress from the South vowed to fight this decision. They were concerned that the decision would spread to other areas of segregated life in the South.

As a result of this decision, many lawsuits were filed to desegregate schools, first in the South and later in the North. Many schools were desegregated, despite great resistance, because of this court case.