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African American Studies Center

Brown vs. Board of Education

On May 17, 1954, in the case of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court ended federally sanctioned racial segregation in public schools by ruling unanimously that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and have “no place in the field of education.” Brown was a revolutionary decision, but it was also the culmination of a long series of changes both in the Court and in the strategies of integration's most powerful legal champion, the NAACP.

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OUP Books

Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy

James T. Patterson

Here, in a concise, moving narrative, Bancroft Prize-winning historian James T. Patterson takes readers through the dramatic case and its fifty-year aftermath. A wide range of characters animates the story, from the little-known African Americans who dared to challenge Jim Crow with lawsuits (at great personal cost); to Thurgood Marshall, who later became a Justice himself; to Earl Warren, who shepherded a fractured Court to a unanimous decision. Others include segregationist politicians like Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas; Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon; and controversial Supreme Court justices such as William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas.

Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy
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