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  1. 1. Segregation
  2. 2. What We Know…
  3. 3. A Century of Racial Segregation… • After the abolition of slavery in the United States, three Constitutional amendments were passed to grant newly freed African Americans legal status: – 13th abolished slavery – 14th provided citizenship to all races – 15th guaranteed the right to vote
  4. 4. The Supreme Court & Segregation • Despite these well intentioned Amendments between 1873 and 1883 the Supreme Court handed down a series of decisions that virtually voided the work of Congress • Blacks were separated from whites by law in areas such as: – Transportation – Public accommodations – Recreational facilities – Prisons – Armed forces – Schools in both Northern and Southern states
  5. 5. Upholding School Segregation • The Sarah Roberts Case (1849) – 5 year old Sarah Roberts was forced to walk passed several all white schools to reach her all black school – Her father filed a lawsuit against the city of Boston to integrate public schools – Her lawyer argued that separate schools for African Americans branded “a whole race with the stigma of inferiority and degradation” – The Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld segregation
  6. 6. Upholding All Segregation • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – The Supreme Court upheld the practice of separate but equal saying that it did not violate the 14th Amendment – It was felt that the children of former slaves would be better served if they attended their own schools of equal quality, in their own communities – Schools for black students, however, while separate were anything but equal
  7. 7. Separate But Not Equal
  8. 8. The Wind of Change… • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) – It held that school segregation violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment – The Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision on May 17, 1954 – The following year the Court ordered desegregation “with all deliberate speed.”
  9. 9. What We Want To Know…
  10. 10. Reaction to Forced Integration • How did the nation react? • How did schools react? • How did the races react? • How did teachers react? • How did students react?
  11. 11. What We Learned…
  12. 12. After Brown… • Some school districts in the Southern and border states desegregated peacefully – In other places resistance to school desegregation resulted in open defiance and violent confrontations • One such place was in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.
  13. 13. Ruby Bridges • In 1960 the New Orleans public schools integrated on a grade-per-year basis, beginning with the first grade • The School Board issued a test to black kindergartners to determine the best candidates • Six-year old Ruby Bridges was one of six children selected
  14. 14. Ruby Bridges • On November 14, Bridges integrated the William Frantz Public School – In retaliation, white parents withdrew her classmates and Bridges's father was fired from his job • Ruby completed the first grade alone with the support of Barbara Henry, a Boston teacher, and Dr. Robert Coles, a child psychiatrist • Ruby's walk to school the first day, escorted by U.S. Marshals, inspired the 1964 Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With”