The State of Integration in the United States

In 1954, the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, unanimously striking down state-ordered racial segregation in schools as unconstitutional. In the majority opinion, Earl Warren argued, “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Therefore, according to Warren, even if the separate facilities were of equal physical quality, segregation still inflicted significant social and psychological harm upon black students, inhibiting their educational development. Activists lauded the decision as a major victory for the Civil Rights Movement, one that would pave the way for complete integration.

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