Brown v. Board of Education Analytical Essay

Brown v. Board of Education
An examination of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education that led to the desegregation of public schools.
# 147701 | 1,564 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Jun 17, 2011 in African-American Studies (Civil Rights)

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This paper begins with an overview of the case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 and the beginning of "separate but equal" facilities. It gives the background of the NAACP and the Jim Crow laws. The circumstances leading up to Oliver Brown's attempt to enroll his daughter in an all-white school and the NAACP's involvement are presented. The paper discusses the arguments of both sides in the case and the Supreme Court's decisions. It concludes with detailing the effects this case has had on American society.

From the Paper:

"Until the mid-1950's, citizens of the United States lived separated by race. Many people today (with the exception of older adults) were not alive to remember this period in time, and cannot even begin to picture living completely different lives from minorities. However, the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education changed this standard for future generations, and was a landmark for blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. When Oliver Brown defeated the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education, the future of African-Americans took a giant step forward towards equality, and white children would no longer be raised how their parents had been in the past.
"In 1896, the Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson began a long battle about "separate but equal" facilities and accommodations. More simply put: racial segregation. The case dealt with Homer Plessy, a man who was a one-eighth black man attempting to ride in an all-white railcar in Louisiana. In short, the railroad operators demanded he ride in the car for minorities and arrested him when he refused. He fought this all the way up to the national level, which arguably began the modern Civil Rights Movement. Ferguson received seven out of the eight justice's votes, and the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown. However the dissenting opinion written by Justice John Marshall Harlan argued that "[i]n the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens" (Thompson).The court's decision upheld that "separate but equal" was legal as long as blacks were offered the exact same quality of services that whites were. This historical decision defined race relations for many decades to come, and began what we know as the Civil Rights Movement for African-Americans."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "What was Jim Crow?" Ferris State University. Web. 03 June. 2011.
  • Dunn, John M. The Civil Rights Movement. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1998. Print. World History Series.
  • Thompson, Charles. "Plessy v. Ferguson: Harlan's Great Dissent." Louisville Law. University of Louisville. Web. 06 June. 2011.
  • "Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas." Human Constitutional Rights. Web. 07 June. 2011.
  • "Black, White, and Brown." PBS. 12 May. 2004. Web. 07 June. 2011.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Brown v. Board of Education (2011, June 17) Retrieved November 30, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Brown v. Board of Education" 17 June 2011. Web. 30 November. 2022. <>