Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
case in which, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which declares that no state may deny equal protection of the laws to any person within its jurisdiction. The decision declared that separate educational facilities were inherently unequal. Based on a series of Supreme Court cases argued between 1938 and 1950, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka completed the reversal of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which had permitted separate but equal public facilities. Strictly speaking, the 1954 decision was limited to the public schools, but it implied that segregation was not permissible in other public facilities.
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