The Federal Government and Racial Discrimination in the Last CenturyPatrick Morano, Brianna Riguera, Estefania Marin, Ricardo Diaz, Victoria Pawlus & Sam Morin
With regard to political participation and economic opportunity, evaluate the extent to which the federal government has been successful in addressing racial discrimination during the past century. Consider both legislative and judicial actions in your evaluation as well as social & political factors that have hindered progress.
Since the later half of the twentieth century, the federal government has made strides to correct racial injustice and discrimination with policies, legislation, and judicial decisions in spite of social and political opposition.
Gebhart v. Belton (1952)
In Delaware, two black families were angry about the disparity between African American and White schools.
The judge ruled that they were to be admitted to white schools. The board of education repealed to the Supreme Court.
The fourteenth amendment's "equal protection" still allowed segregation as long as they were the same quality.
Bolling v. Sharpe (1954)
In 1947, Garner Bishop attempted to get 11 African Americans admitted to a brand new white high school.
The case was dismissed because of another case in DC that ruled segregation was constitutional.
The US Supreme Court rendered a separate opinion on this case based on the fourth amendment because the fourteenth was not applicable in DC.
Briggs v. Elliot (1952)
Black students in Summerton did not have any bus transportation.
In 1948, a local attorney, together with Thurgood Marshall, sued the county board in federal district court, but the case was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds without reaching the merits.
The decision by the three-judge panel held that the school must be equalized but not integrated.
The ruling set the stage for Briggs to be appealed to the Supreme Court, where it was combined with four other desegregation cases, including Brown v. Board.
Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (1954)
The demands of the Robert R. Moton High School students who led the strike against the school on April 23, 1951 were simple: facilities equal to those provided to white high school students as required by law.
In Kansas, NAACP members initiated the case after parents tried to have their children enrolled at white schools.
The district court ruled against them but identified that these children were adversely affected by going to a different schools. This information was quoted in the Supreme Court's ruling.
Ruled segregation unconstitutional.
Brown v. Board of Education II (1955)
This second case was a decision on how to enforce the first case.
People who were happy about the first ruling did not like this one.
It was very ambiguous and allowed schools to take their time with desegregation.
Virginia Senator Harry Byrd led a policy of "massive resistance" to court-mandated integration in the state. This policy took its most destructive form in Prince Edward County.
In 1959, the county board of supervisors abolished public education rather than allow black and white students to go to school together. The vast majority of the county's 1,700 African-American students went without formal education for the next five years.
The situation lasted for five years, until a Supreme Court decision in 1964 forced the county to reopen the public schools.
Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. United States (1964)
Shaw v. Reno (1993)
Gratz v. Bollinger (2002)
Since the later half of the twentieth century, the federal government has made strides to correct racial injustices and discrimination with policies, legislation, and judicial decisions in spite of social and political opposition.