Granada Hills Charter High School

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Knowledge is power and as Malcolm X once said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Today, in the United States everyone has been blessed with the opportunity and the privilege, of learning without the fear of losing it. This has ultimately led to many students — adolescents and young adults — to take this free education for granted. In 1954, a monumental year for the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown vs. Board of Education, made it directly possible to change the educational playing field by creating equal opportunities for African Americans, along with better financial possibilities and over time decrease the rising tensions between Whites and Blacks.

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To understand the importance of the case it is best to review the history of the United States. During the Post-Revolutionary War era, the United States was within the first stages of becoming one of the greatest nation the world had ever seen. However, along the way the newfound nation fell into discord and disagreement which immediately led to a schism. This devastating separation caused America to ultimately divide itself into two passionate sides: the North and the South. The cause for this split was due to one of the most controversial topics the American people faced, the debate over slavery. Slavery was the unethical exploitation and mistreatment of African Americans, who faced brutal and unjust punishments under appalling working conditions and who typically worked up until their death. The South was in support of continuing slavery through the many hardship years to come, meanwhile the North wanted to abolish such an atrocity. The US went to war with itself, and the North won, leading to the first victory for African Americans. It laid the foundations for the future amendments to the constitution —

the 13th,14th and the 15th amendment. Although slavery was finally abolished, Southerners continued to stigmatize African Americans by maintaining the rift of inequality between the two races. As time progressed, African Americans gradually, gained a foothold in society among whites and eventually trudged their way to securing their unalienable rights even after the increase of racial sentiments among the people. African Americans would no longer tolerate the injustice of inequality in a supposed free country. Thus, they peacefully fought and protested and eventually won many battles against the bitter resentment of whites and the imposed Jim Crow Laws of the time. They faced the “separate but equal” doctrine under scrutinizing circumstances and had been placed to support segregation. Due to the unconstitutional segregation of races, it then led to the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education of 1954, which revolutionized the lives of all Americans, Blacks and Whites alike.

It is clear that life as an African American had been a constant battle under extremely difficult conditions when living in the United States. However, that did not prevent them from fighting for equal rights and their freedom. A perfect example of this is the persistence of the Brown family of sending their daughter to an all-white school which was closer than the school meant for African Americans all the way across town. This immediately led newspapers spiraling out of control in search of outrageous new headlines in tandem with passive headlines in support of desegregation such as, “Now, at last, the equality of opportunity which is a fundamental premise of the American society is to become a fact in regard to education — which is, after all, the key to opportunity. The effect will be to establish a new and invigorating unity” (The Washington Post).

The text demonstrates how education is essential for a prosperous future in America and life in general. Education can not be taken for granted, for many people have fought for the opportunity to learn and matter in society. As a product of the decision made by the Supreme Court, headed by Thurgood Marshall, African Americans and Whites have since received equal education.

Thurgood Marshall was a Supreme Court Justice and a Civil Rights Activist for the NAACP, making him one of the most influential beings of the 50s and 60s. Due to Thurgood Marshall’s efforts, the Court ruled in favor of the Brown family with the judgement of the case stating that it is, “remanded to the said District Court to take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with the opinions of this Court as are necessary and proper to admit to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed the parties to this case.” It was the Court’s decision that finally determined that the doctrine for “Separate but Equal” was simply placed in order to prevent African Americans and White Americans from integrating and receiving equal opportunities.

Additionally, Linda Brown, was the young African American girl who tried to attend an all-white school but was denied entrance because of the color of her skin. Thus, she went to court alongside her parents to fight for the opportunity to be able to go to any school she desired, whether it be an all-black school or an all-white school. At the time Linda Brown was too young to truly understand the impact her actions would caused nor the precedent they had set. However, many years later, on the 50th anniversary of the victory of this case, Mrs Brown presented a speech stating that, “It was clear that Brown vs. the Board of Education was a necessary victory it might have been a little flame but it served to set off a mighty flame. To me the impact of Brown is best seen in the increasing numbers of black professionals today. These are the people that after 1954 were able to have some degree of choice, and this surely made a difference in their aspirations and their achievements.” Not only did this case end segregation within schools but it decreased the rising tensions between Whites and Blacks. As of recently, more jobs, careers and professions have become more diverse, allowing for better social interactions between individuals of different races. The case imposed a great challenge upon White Americans, questioning theirs values and morals.

Although many things have changed since the 1950s and 60s, progress toward better interracial relationships has continued to increase at a steady pace. Today, after years of desegregation “Americans have tended to characterize the relationships between races as improving. Just 28 years ago, only about 40% of whites and 30% of blacks said that race relations between the two groups were good. Toward the end of the Obama presidency, roughly 60% of both demographics said that they were.” (Kevin Mahnken). In retrospect with regards to the United States history it is clear that change has not always been easy but it is possible. It is important to understand how the nation has evolved over time and why it is in a better place today. It is expected that interracial relationships will keep improving and thus creating a better life for future generations .

Brown vs. Board of Education was impactful because it desegregated schools and allowed different races to put aside their differences and together move forth into a better future. African Americans could now pursue better careers, earn more money, obtain a better social status/reputation and it allowed them to follow their dreams. It was a step toward equality. By obtaining a better education African Americans were no longer separated from society for they were now considered intelligent and educated people. The Supreme Court ruling in this case gave them hope that they were finally making a difference and that things were about to change. After many years of constant struggle and protest to gain equality, the decision made for Brown vs. Board of Education led to a decrease in racial tensions and better learning opportunities, making it one of the greatest milestones in African American history.

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Granada Hills Charter High School. (2020, Jan 19). Retrieved from