Introduction: The Context and Overview
On May 17, 1954 The United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the Brown vs. Board of Education case “that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.” This was the first major wave of recent reform. In 1957 President Eisenhower sent troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce the Supreme Court’s school desegregation order. In that same year the first Civil Rights Act in 79 years was passed in Congress and signed into law. The battle for equal rights for all continues to this day.