Civil Rights and the Supreme Court Term Paper by Nicky

Civil Rights and the Supreme Court
An overview of civil rights from the Gilded Age until the 1960s, with a focus on the Supreme Court cases "Plessy vs. Ferguson" and "Brown vs. Board of Education".
# 145102 | 1,434 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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The paper provides the background of the case "Plessy vs. Ferguson", 1896, when the U.S. Supreme Court justices infamously upheld the idea that the races could be separate but equal. The paper contrasts it to "Brown vs. Board of Education", 1954, that was an important step in removing the legal foundation for allowing separation of the races. The paper then discusses how during the latter half of the 20th century, the Civil Rights movement used the two-pronged strategy of securing voting rights as well as legal rights in the court. The paper relates that only with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, 1964 and Voting Rights Act, 1965, did the legacy of 'Jim Crow' truly end.

From the Paper:

"To challenge the mounting evidence that the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation, the extension of enfranchisement to black voters, and the right of due process encoded in the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution was being violated, black civil rights leaders began to mobilize during the end of the 19th century, during what is known as the Gilded Age. Their test case was the Separate [railroad] Car Law. A civil rights organization made up of black professionals in New Orleans known as the Citizens' Committee to Test the Constitutionality of the Separate Car Law staged a protest. Interestingly, they selected someone of mixed race whom, to most observers 'appeared' white, seemingly to rally support for the cause."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN. United Nations. December 5, 2008.
  • Cozzens, Lisa. "Early Civil Right Struggles: Brown v. Board of Education." 1996. BlackHistory. Updated June 29, 1998. December 5, 2008.
  • Dove, Rita. "Time 100: Rosa Parks." Time Magazine. 2003. December 5, 2008.
  • Zimmerman, Thomas. "Plessy v. Ferguson." 1890s America: A Chronology. Computing for ACS. Spring 1996. December 5, 2008.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Civil Rights and the Supreme Court (2010, October 25) Retrieved April 20, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Civil Rights and the Supreme Court" 25 October 2010. Web. 20 April. 2024. <>