Legal segregation began in 1896 when the Supreme Court sanctioned legal separation of the black and white races in the ruling H.A. Plessy v. J.H. Ferguson, but the decision was overruled in 1954. The Supreme Court in 1896 stated that separate but equal facilities did not violate the 14th Amendment; however, it changed its mind thanks to the decision stemming from Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.Continue Reading
After the United States abolished slavery, the country passed three new Constitutional amendments to give newly freed African Americans legal status. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, while the 14th Amendment provided citizenship to the newly freed slaves. The 15th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote. However, the Supreme Court handed down a series of judgments and rulings that put blacks in a different category from whites by law. This made the African Americans second-class citizens. They were forced via private action to separate themselves from the white people in areas such as transportation, public accommodations, recreational facilities, prisons, schools and even the armed forces.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed in 1909. The NAACP began a struggle for the elimination of racial discrimination and segregation that was prevalent in the American life, which culminated in the Supreme Court's landmark decision in 1954.Learn more about US History
According to History Matters, the Supreme Court's 1886 ruling in the case Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway Company v. Illinois overturned a previous case that allowed states to regulate railroads. It led to the formation of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887. The case asserted the Constitution's authority that the federal government regulates interstate commerce and not the states.Full Answer >
Racial segregation finished de jure in the United States in 1954, when a series of Supreme Court decisions were enforced in that sense. However, de facto segregation continued until the 1970s and persists in various degrees to present day.Full Answer >
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court deemed segregation illegal in public schools in Brown vs. Board of Education. The plaintiff in the case was a seven-year-old African-American student from Kansas named Linda Brown.Full Answer >
The goal of the March on Washington was to show support for an end to segregation, the passage of civil rights legislation, government support for impoverished workers and a $2-an-hour minimum wage, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Marchers also called for the government to fight discrimination more aggressively.Full Answer >