Today in labor history: Supreme Court rules on Brown v. Board of Education


On this day in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools were unconstitutional. The court's ruling overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 that legalized "separate but equal" facilities.

The case was brought by a group of Topeka, Kansas, parents led by Oliver Brown, a welder for the Santa Fe Railroad.

Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first African American justice, argued the case before the court. The Warren's Court decision was unanimous.

Today segregation remains rife with some 80 percent of Latino students and 74 percent of black students enrolled in schools where the majority of students are not white.

Photo: The Supreme Court with Earl Warren as chief justice ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that "separate but equal" schools were unconstitutional (CC).



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  • It is sad that the message of M L K, as he fought for the economic and labor rights of the poor, making it clear that there was no sense in the fight for civil rights if we could not practice them through using our economic rights.
    Today, as president Obama tells Morehouse grads that they have no excuses(apparently suggesting the victims of segregation, racism, and genocide have no beef in any more-in this "post racial" environment, he is, after all the political leader of the most powerful country in the world), addressing male grads-future doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers, and all manner of professionals on fatherhood, one wonders if he told them of the rife segregation, racism and economic discrimination of the "post racial" political environment of fathers and sons: past, present and future.
    The young grads(of M L K's Alma Mater) were perhaps becoming aware of the need to study the president more than the president had studied them.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 05/21/2013 1:12am (2 years ago)

  • To integrate the schools---1964 in MD I was bused 2 hrs towards Baltimore & black students were bused out to the suburbs--but we stilled missed integration—they divided us into 20 divisions by “aptitude”—whites in the higher classes–blacks in the lower—I rarely saw a black student--

    Posted by Diane Keefauver, 05/19/2013 1:30am (2 years ago)

  • Billboards demanding the impeachment of Earl Warren sprang all across the country. Yesterday's segregationists are today's Tea Party extremists.

    The Roberts Court would have sided with the Topeka board of education, and Justice Scalia would have written the majority opinion.

    Posted by Cheryl Llera, 05/18/2013 12:10am (2 years ago)

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