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Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

Definition - What does Brown v. Board of Education (1954) mean?

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka is a landmark civil rights case decided in 1954. In it, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation of public schools is unconstitutional. Specifically, it ruled that state laws denying black children access to public schools attended by their white counterparts violated their rights to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Justipedia explains Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

The matter heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education actually stemmed from cases in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia and Delaware. Although the circumstances of each case were different, the court determined that they collectively warranted its consideration because they all raised the same legal issue.

The court initially heard arguments in the case in 1952, but didn't render a decision until May 17, 1954. In its ruling, the court concluded that racial segregation of public schools denies the minority group equal educational opportunities, even when "the physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may be equal."

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