The Light of Equality: Dredd Scott’s Fight for Freedom

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When Dredd Scott sued for his freedom in 1857, a light shined in a very dark cave, Equality cave. The light might have not reached the end of the cave, which is when Chief Justice Roger B. Taney explained that every black, slave, or free Afro-American is considered not a citizen, therefore they are not allowed to appeal for their freedom in court. This event gave hope to influence many Afro-Americans to pursue their freedom. I believe that Brown v. Board of Education was a successful case thanks to two previous, yet crucial issues that affected the outcome of this case. I believe that the case can be investigated psychologically, sociologically, and politically. I will define and explain each individually, proving that psychologically the consequences following the case was a driving power towards bettering education for Afro Americans, and providing further opportunities. It will be discussed how the decision of Brown v. Board of Education had a big impact on schools, and decades to follow.

Many slaves in the states where slavery was still legal, did not have the knowledge to sue for their freedom, but were motivated when one man decided to put an end to it. When Dredd Scott was left by Mrs. Emerson with her brother John Sanford who traveled to many states; including Anti-slavery states. Scott decided to sue for his freedom after acknowledging his right as a citizen. Scott lost in the state, and federal court. Scott appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, was the person to read out the case’s decision, he was a slavery supporter, which might have made the decision easier for the judge. Taney ruled that every African/black person was considered not a citizen according to the constitution, which meant that Scott was not allowed to sue Sanford.

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The Plessey v. Ferguson was a case that sparked the spread of segregation throughout the united states. History writes that a man named Homer Adolph Plessy was denied the right to sit in a “white’s only” cart although he was from mixed racial background. The case is believed to conflict with the 13th and 14th amendment, which states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (Bott 1865). The 14th amendment was written to target the rights and equal protection laws of every American citizen. The supreme court said that the 13th amendment is almost irrelevant to the case because there is almost non-existent evidence that the amendment conflicted with a person’s, involuntary servitude. The 14th amendment was disregarded because the judges felt the, “assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority”.

After the Plessey case, many other criteria’s/facilities were segregated. It spread quickly in all sectors including hospitals, washrooms, and even schools, which lead to the Brown v. Board of Education case. The issue of this case was to determine if children being segregated are being denied the true appropriate education that they need, and if it is constitutional, “separate but equal”. This case was formed from a combination of several other cases that addressed the same issue. Judge Warren explains that the segregation of children in public schools is unconstitutional; The judge emphasized that although other physical Institutions maybe equal the right of education must be “available for everyone and in equal terms” (Warren 495). When asked if the Plessy v. Ferguson case was relevant to the case, judge Warren did not find any relevance in that transportation is a different aspect to look at, but education must remain equal for everyone. The expression of relating to the government or the concerns of the public matter is called politics.

Brown v. Board of Education was only the beginning of a long legal process. Many schools decided to close its doors instead of accepting diversity. Other schools left the door open for the students to choose if they wanted to attend a certain school or the other. Few districts didn’t give the option of letting luck take the place of integration, many of them forced Afro-American students and white students to sit in the same classroom, and attend the same schools. I believe that if segregation was to be removed in schools today, elementary level is the best choice. The government should target children at a young age, where their mind is still porous, and introducing an idea at a younger age may have future impact on their children, and grand children. Psychology is the study of one’s behaviour and cognitive skills; in my opinion, psychology helped win this case. This case wasn’t to have a very good supporting point of why segregation in education affects children if it wasn’t for Dr. Kenneth Clark’s “Doll test” proving that children were taught by the media, and education system that only “white” people are the ones who are right, well behaved, or deserve the better opportunity. This case inspired many Afro-Americans to be successful in many fields such as, arts, music, sciences, and engineering.

Sociology is the observation of the progress, construction, and operative procedures of the community. This case took to inspire many activists who believed in equality, and thrived for equal law, such as the civil rights, and voting rights. Sociologically this case inspired many Afro American parents to make the decision of allowing their children to attend school. Decades after, the case has proven that it has helped many Afro-American people achieve equality. I believe that this case displayed the American community the true meaning of power in courts. In Warren’s court, power was exhibited through out the court; Everyone had the equal right in defending themselves, one’s colour or ethnicity. Sociologically desegregation forced everyone, including people who did not approve of the decision to follow the law that forbids a person from segregating a race. I believe that this case can be interpreted in various methods, where this case laid the true law that served every Afro-American by providing the same education opportunities as their fellow white Americans. This case drove people to push for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The case lead to peaceful bus rides, sit ins, and peaceful marches. In my opinion the case helped many people believe in equality, and equal opportunities for their children.

Furthermore, Brown v. Board of Education in my opinion can be compared to the big bang theory in the impact that it had on generations to come, it opened the door towards many accomplishments that might have never happened if it wasn’t for the children having equal education opportunities. I believe that Dred Scott inspired millions of people towards achieving their dreams, whether it was the abolishment of slavery, desegregation of institutes, or as simple as learning the to swim. Plessey v. Ferguson is a case that should have never reached the amount of attention it presented, it is a case against humanity and the true definition of what it means to be a human.

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The Light of Equality: Dredd Scott’s Fight for Freedom. (2022, Feb 01). Retrieved from

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