Who Argued Brown vs Board of Education?

Many people know that the landmark case of Brown vs. Board of Education resulted in the desegregation of public schools. But who argued the case? Thurgood Marshall, of course!

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Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was an American lawyer, who served as the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. He is best remembered for arguing the case of Brown vs Board of Education, which desegregated schools in America. Let’s learn more about his life and work.

Early life and education

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the great-grandson of a slave and the son of a railroad porter and a kindergarten teacher. After graduating from Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore in 1925, he attended Lincoln University, a historically Black college in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He then attended Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., graduating first in his class in 1930.

In 1940, Thurgood Marshall became the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). The LDF was created to provide legal assistance to African Americans who were victims of discrimination. Under Marshall’s leadership, the LDF won a number of important court cases, including Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine established by the Plessy v. Ferguson case.

After successfully arguing Brown v. Board of Education, Marshall went on to argue many other important civil rights cases, including Reynolds v. Sims, which established the “one man, one vote” principle; Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws banning interracial marriage; and Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, which upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in public schools.

In 1967, Marshall was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1968, he was nominated by Johnson to replace retiring Associate Justice Abe Fortas on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 69–11 and became the Court’s 96th justice and its first African American justice.

Brown v. Board of Education

The 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education is one of the most significant events in American history. The case began when the parents of black children in Topeka, Kansas, filed a lawsuit against the local school district. The parents argued that their children were being discriminated against because they were required to attend segregated schools.

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The court said that segregated schools were “inherently unequal” and violated the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The Brown decision was a turning point in American history, paving the way for desegregation and other measures to ensure equality for all Americans.

Oliver Brown

Oliver Brown was the father of plaintiff Linda Brown, and the lead plaintiff in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. He was a welder in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, where he attempted to enroll his daughter in an all-white school close to their home. When he was denied admission, Brown decided to take action.

Early life and education

Oliver Brown was born in Kansas in 1918 and was one of eight children. His father worked as a sharecropper on a cotton farm, and his mother was a domestic worker. Brown’s parents were active in their local church, and he sang in the choir as a child. When he was eight years old, his family moved to Topeka so that his father could find work at a local creamery.

Brown’s family lived in a segregated neighborhood, and he attended an all-black grade school. In high school, he played football and ran track. After graduating from high school in 1937, Brown worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for a few years before enrolling at Washburn University in Topeka. He married Naomi Diggs in 1941, and the couple had three children together: Oliver Jr., Cheryl, and Ronald.

Brown graduated from Washburn University with a degree in business administration in 1942. He then took a job as an insurance salesman with the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. In 1951, he enrolled at Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) to earn his master’s degree in education so that he could become a high school principal.

Brown v. Board of Education

The case of Brown v. Board of Education was brought before the Supreme Court in 1954. The case revolved around the segregation of public schools in Kansas. At the time, many public schools were segregated by race and the state of Kansas required that black and white students attend different schools.

Oliver Brown, a black man whose daughter had to travel a long distance to attend a segregated black school, was the plaintiff in the case. He argued that the segregation of public schools was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Brown and desegregated public schools across America. The ruling was a major victory for civil rights and helped to end segregation in all areas of society.

The Other Plaintiffs

Oliver L. Brown was not the only parent that argued against the Topeka Board of Education. In fact, there were thirteen other cases against the Board that were combined with Brown’s in what is now famously known as Brown vs Board of Education. With the help of the NAACP, these fourteen cases were brought in front of the Supreme Court in an effort to desegregate education in the United States.

Early life and education

Oliver Brown was born in farming family in Holt County, Missouri. In 1925, when he was eight years old, the Browns moved to Topeka, Kansas. He attended the Frederick Douglas Elementary School. In the fifth grade he was transferred to the Monroe School, one of four segregated elementary schools for African American children in Topeka. At the age of thirteen, he left school to help support his family by working as a shoe shiner and later as a porter in a hotel. In 1941 he married Leola Scales; they had eight children together.

In 1950 he learned that his daughter Linda had been denied admission to Sumner School, one of the best elementary schools in Topeka because she was black. With the help of the local NAACP chapter, Brown and twelve other plaintiffs filed suit against the Topeka Board of Education, arguing that the segregation of black and white students in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case was eventually consolidated with four other cases and became known as Brown v. Board of Education.

Brown v. Board of Education

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In a unanimous nine-to-zero ruling, the Court declared that “separate but equal” education for black and white children was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the opinion for the Court, which overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine established by the court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). The Brown case was actually a consolidation of five lawsuits filed on behalf of black children in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia and Delaware who had been denied admission to their local white schools. Oliver L. Brown, an African American father from Topeka, was the named plaintiff in the Kansas lawsuit.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sponsored all five cases and hired Thurgood Marshall–later to become the first African American U.S. Supreme Court justice–to serve as chief lawyer for the plaintiffs. Among Marshall’s co-counsel were Spottswood W. Robinson III and Oliver Hill, both of whom later became federal judges; George E.C.. Hayes, who became chief judge of New York State’s highest court; and Louis Redding, who became Delaware’s first black lawyer and who argued one of the cases before the Supreme Court….

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