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Brown v Board of Education

Brown I, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) Brown II, 349 U.S. 294 (1955)

Keywords: Racial discrimination, accessability, equality, USA, constitution, segregation, educational opportunities 

State laws permitted or required the segregation of white and black children in public schools. A number of black children’s representatives argued that the legislation violated the constitutional requirement of equal protection of laws, even where schools for black children provided equal facilities.

Since education is critical for success in life, the State, where it has undertaken to provide education, must make it available on equal terms. The Court found that ‘separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Even where physical facilities and other objective factors are equal, a segregated school system denies equal educational opportunities to the minority group.’

Contrast this case with the above Roma cases where there was clear inequlaity between educational establishments – in this case, even where the schools appeared equal, the mere fact that there was a minority group that could only attend certain schools - segregation – meant that the system was not equal.