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Impact on Society of Brown vs. the Board of Education

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    Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka attributed a heavy impact on society as a whole. The shocking verdict immediately began to revise the typical way of life. Some viewed the result of the trial as their key to contentment while others rebelled against it vigorously. The case brought a phrase most at that time would never agree with, integration of schools, and it truly changed America for the better in numerous ways.

    Even though the case brought integration into the spectrum, it did not specify how the schools should be integrated. The verdict only stated that there would be later arguments concerning it (Staff 2). Of course, this sparked an uprising. Though well addressed, the actions of the court easily expanded a gap for evasion of desegregation. While states like Kansas supported the verdict, most of the South pressed against it (2). A prime example would be the Little Rock Nine. After the governor called upon the National Guard to not allow entry to black students in the high school, President Eisenhower alerted upon his troops and nine black kids following much standoff. (2). The kids, known as “Little Rock Nine”, were then allowed entry, backed up by armed guards, into the school.

    The verdict obviously did not have the power to conquer desegregation on its own, but it started the drive for the civil rights movement everywhere. For example, a year after the case, Rosa Parks refused to give her seat up to a white man in Montgomery (Staff 3). In return, this would lead to the series of Montgomery bus boycotts and sit-ins, and eventually overthrow the laws set by Jim Crow (3). Later on, several key acts in history were passed such as Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Fair Housing Act of 1968 (3). The ruling in Runyon vs. McCary even admitted that denying entry violated federal civil law acts.

    On the contrary though, now 60 years later the country still faces struggles with how to deal with racial inequalities involving differences and disadvantages in wealthier schools and economically lowered schools. Although, some progress was added to the education of blacks across America. (Brownstein 2). Before the case, only one in seven African-Americans held a high school degree while the whites ratio stood at one in three. (2). Currently, Census Bureau reports that the African –American ratio is almost equal to whites falling at 85% vs. 89% (Brownstein 3). Though as we can see much progress was made, some believe we may be going under a “resegregation” as of 1980 (Brownstein 4). They continue to state that as we become more diverse, those barriers are growing (Brownstein 5).

    All and all, Brown vs. the Board of Education left a mark on society we could never forget. Though the verdict faced many challenges, I can say the goal is almost entirely completed. It truly helped define us as the country we are today. For we are unified. We are strong. We are one. Together, we are all America.

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