Brown v. Board of Education

This week in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one of its most historic decisions, changing the social landscape of the nation. The justices ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation of public schools based solely on race was unconstitutional. The ruling effectively did away with the “separate but equal” concept that had legitimized segregation for decades after Reconstruction. The case was argued on behalf of the NAACP by Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

Brown v. Board of Education Ruling. Credit: Biography.com

Brown v. Board of Education Ruling. Credit: Biography.com

In 1960, about 20 percent of adult blacks were high school graduates. That figure is now around 85 percent. Again in 1960, barely over 3 percent had college diplomas; now the rate has risen to almost 21 percent.

Source: Profile AmericaU.S. Census Bureau.

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