School Segregation Then and Now: Has Much Changed?
A look at desegregation efforts since Brown v. Board.
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School Segregation Then and Now: Has Much Changed? - On May 17, 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public schools was illegal in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. The Little Rock Nine, Ruby Bridges and other Black students became the faces of this new era. Take a look at how school districts handled desegregation efforts sixty years since then. — Natelege Whaley (Photo: National Archive/Newsmakers/Getty Images)
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Boston Public Schools - Before Brown v. Board of Education, Sarah Roberts, 5, was denied enrollment in a white school in Boston in 1848. The Massachusetts Supreme Court banned segregation in the state in 1855. In the 1970s, Black students in the city were forced to be bused to white areas and white students to Black neighborhoods. As of 2013, the district has ended busing. (Photo: Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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Topeka, Kansas, Public Schools - In 1951, Oliver Brown filed a lawsuit against Topeka, Kansas, school board for denying his child access to a white school. It became the class-action suit that led to the desegregation of schools around the country. Today, Topeka, Kansas, public schools are 19 percent African-American and 41 percent white. (Photo: National Park Service)
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Little Rock, Arkansas - In 1957, nine Black students were the first to attend Little Rock, Arkansas’ Central High School. The district implemented the "Blossom Plan" that allowed Black students to transfer to any school where they would be the minority. In January 2013, a judge ruled the school district desegregated therefore ending state funding for the issue. (Photo: Lloyd Dinkins/Commercial Appeal /Landov)
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Edward County Public Schools, Virginia - Rather than integrate Black students, Edward County Public Schools shut down all of their schools in 1959. Private schools were opened to educate white students. Black children did not have access to education until the U.S. Supreme Court reopened schools in 1964. Today, 34 percent of Black students attend Prince Edward County schools, which is proportionate to the overall Black population. (Photo: Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI Photo/Landov)