The background is that everything was segregated. Blacks and whites had different drinking fountains, bathrooms, and even went to different schools."Under the laws of the time, many public facilities were segregated by race. The precedent-setting Plessy v. Ferguson case, which was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1896, allowed for such segregation". Segregation was legal because of past court decisionsThe three-judge federal district court found that segregation in public education had a detrimental effect upon black children, but the court denied that there was any violation of Brown's rights because of the "separate but equal" doctrine established in the Supreme Court's 1896 Plessy decision.