*Brown v. Board of Education*, a landmark case in the history of the United States, was a decision handed down by [[The Supreme Court]] in 1954. The case dealt with racial [[segregation]] in public schools and was a critical milestone in the [[civil rights]] movement.
The case was a consolidation of five separate lawsuits filed against school districts in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs in these cases were African American families whose children were forced to attend racially segregated schools, due to state laws or local policies that mandated segregation.
## SCOTUS: Segregation is unconstitutional
The central question in the case was whether "separate but equal" policies, established by the 1896 Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson, violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. The "separate but equal" doctrine allowed state and local governments to enforce racial segregation, as long as the separate facilities provided to each race were equal in quality.
In a unanimous 9-0 decision, [[The Supreme Court]] ruled that racial [[segregation]] in public schools was inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional. Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the Court's opinion, stating that separate educational facilities were "inherently unequal" and had a negative impact on the educational and personal development of African American children.
The Brown decision signaled the beginning of the end for legalized racial segregation in the United States. It led to a series of federal and state-level actions to dismantle segregation in public schools and other public facilities. It also inspired the broader civil rights movement, which sought to end racial [[discrimination]] in various aspects of American society.
## Resistance to desegregation
Although *Brown v. Board of Education* was a crucial step toward racial equality in the United States, it did not immediately result in the desegregation of all public schools. Resistance to the ruling, particularly in the southern states, led to a long and arduous process of desegregation that continued well into the 1970s. Nonetheless, the case remains a vital symbol of the struggle for [[civil rights]] and equal opportunity in America.