About Brown v. Board

The 1954 United States Supreme Court decision in Oliver L. Brown et al v. the Board of Education of Topeka (KS) et al. is among the most significant judicial turning points in the development of our country.  Originally led by Charles H. Houston, and later Thurgood Marshall and a formidable legal team, it dismantled the legal basis for racial segregation in schools and other public facilities.

By delcaring that the discriminatory nature of racial segregation ... "violates the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees all citizens equal protection of the laws," Brown v. Board of Education laid the foundation for shaping future national and international policies regarding human rights.

Brown v. Board of Education was not simply about children and education.  The laws and policies struck down by this court decision were products of the human tendencies to prejudge, discriminate against, and stereotype other people by their ethnic, religious, physical, or cultural characteristics.  Ending this behavior as a legal practice caused far reaching social and ideological implications which continue to be felt throughout our country.  The Brown decision inspired and galvanized human rights struggles across the county and around the world.

What this legal challenge represents is at the core of United States history and the freedoms we enjoy.  The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown began a critical chapter in the maturation of our democracy.  It reaffirmed the sovereign power of the people of the United States in the protection of their natural rights from arbitrary limits and restrictions imposed by state and local governments.  These rights are recognized in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  Read more about Brown v. Board.