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In 1954 the case of “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka” the NAACP “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.” fought the board of education for African Americans to attend public school and it set in motion the desegregation for public school. During the 1950’s through 1960’s African Americans faced numerous hardships to overcome to finally be granted their civil rights, which is “Citizen’s rights guaranteed to people and protected by the government” (Wright 172) in 1964 due to the “Civil Rights Act of 1964”.
However, before 1964, African Americans were faced with prejudice, racial and discriminatory road blocks on their way to being granted equal rights. Before the Civil War, the case of “Dread Scott v. Sanford ” declared that Afican Americans could not be citizens, due to the founders not considering them citizens. However, there were groups that fought for African American rights such as the colonists which were, “A coalition of free black and Northern whites working to end slavery prior to Civil War” (Wright 178) and helped the movement even in the 1850’s.
After the Civil War, the 13th amendment was passed in January 1865 which banned slavery.
However, the southern white power was not happy about this and legislated black codes which were “A series of laws in post-civil war Southern designed to restrict the rights of former slaves before the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment “ (Wright 178). The laws in black codes restricted African Americans from most freedoms by putting them in a subservient economic and legal situation. During the reconstruction period which is “The period following the Civil War during which the federal government took action to rebuild the South ‘(Wright 179), the 15th amendment was passed which allowed all adult males to vote.
However with the democrats putting the poll taxes which are “Taxes levied as a qualification for voting “(Wright 179) in place, essentially took the right to vote away from African Americans. This was due to mostly all Afican Americans being too poor to pay for the literacy test which was ”Test required reading or comprehension skills as a qualification for voting” (Wright 179) whch were combined with grandfather clauses which was” Traditions exempting from voting restrictions that descendants of those able to vote in 1867”(wright 179). African Americans did not have any education from being a slave, and the ones who did not have enough money to pay for the tax and test. However, a turning point happened in the early 1900s when the Jim Crow Laws passed which were “Southern laws designed to circumvent the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendment and to deny black rights on a basis other than race”(Wright 179). This allowed African Americans to vote as well as other dimensions from southern life. People were not happy and made everything prejudiced against African Americans. Even the court was discriminatory.
So much so that the court divided the laws and classifications of African Americans into three types of categories to ensure they get treated unfairly and prosecuted as a lesser. The first tier is the suspect tier which is the harshest. This is a tier for people who are rarely constitutional, making African Americans immediate suspects by grouping them in a suspect classification, which is “A classification, such as race, for which any discriminatory law must be justified by a compelling state interest.”(Wright 173). In this first tier, African American’s also face unjust strict scrutiny which is “A heightened standard of review used by the Supreme Court to access the Constitutionality Of laws that limit some freedoms or that make a suspect classification “(Wright 173). This essentially makes the laws discriminatory in the court’s favor against African Americans. The second tier is the “quasi-suspect” which the court sees as less potentially dangerous to fundamental rights. Here the African Americans were put under intermediate standard of review which is “Is standard of review used by the court to evaluate laws that make a quasi-suspect classification” (Wright 173). This essentially means that the court is seeing if the law is requiring a different treatment and opens up to be able to treat African Americans differently. The third and least severe is the “nonsuspect” where the law is put through a minimum rationality test which is “A standard of review used by the court to evaluate laws and make a non-suspect classification “(Wright 173). This is actually saying that the Court has to defend why they discriminated. No matter what classification African Americans were discriminated against. This made everyone look at them as villains. This made it easier to arrest and find guilty of in reality nothing but in the Court’s eyes, a horrendous act. This made it harder and harder for them to win equal rights when the court never gave them a chance. Just after this a half century long segregation which is’ The practice and policy of separating races”(Wright 179) started. This included bathrooms, busses and most importantly schools. African Americans had enough and decided to fight for segregation at schools. Numerous challenges were made but in 1954 the case of Brown v. The Board of Education was the first and only one to make it to the supreme court.
This case combined five other cases. “Belton V. Gebhardt”, “Brown v. The Board of Education”, “Briggs v. Elliot”, “Davis v. Prince Edwards County School Board”, and “Bolling v. Sharpe”.The NAACP used arguments based on sociology of how the African American children felt and were treated attending segregated schools, to overturn the “separate-but-equal” doctrine from the “Plessy v. Ferguson” which is “This Supreme Court Case established the Constitutionality of the principal “separate but equal”. The Supreme Court agrees that the school segregation violated the constitution’s promise that every American will receive equal protection of the law. This made all public schools desegregated and allowed African Americans and Whites to have school together as equal. In conclusion, this was a landmark case that gave the African American community a huge step forward in the struggle for equal rights. The case changed schools forever and put them so much closer to finally getting equal rights. This also gave them fuel to keep fighting for complete equal rights.
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