Then v. Now Civil rights through the years

By Kayla Ferris

Then; Brown VS Board of Education

Events Leading to the Event;

Plessy vs Ferguson

  • This court case justified segregation all public facilities, including schools. It resulted with a mutual agreement for separate, but equal, accommodations in public areas conformed to the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.
  • However, the "equal" requirement was ignored, white people always received better versions of the same things in public places (bathrooms, drinking fountains, schools, etc.).

Verdict of Event;

  • On May 17th, 1954 Chief Justice Earl Warren declared that segregation does not belong in schools.
  • “Separate educational facilities” were “inherently unequal” because the intangible inequalities of segregation deprived black students of equal protection.
  • Thurgood Marshall, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, also said separate school systems for blacks and whites were inherently unequal, and thus violate the "equal protection clause", and that it violates the 14th Amendment.


Photo of African American individuals protesting equal rights in all-white neighborhoods.
  • To fully end Segregation in schools
  • To start end the separate but equal idea, and use schools as an example to show separate things aren't equal for everyone.
  • It would begin to end the unfair Jim Crow Laws.

Who Was Involved?

Chief Justice Earl Warren

  • He rejected the Plessy doctrine, and said “separate educational facilities” were “inherently unequal” because inequalities of segregation deprived black students of protection and education.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

  • The group challenged the idea of segregation in schools

Thurgood Marshall

  • He wanted to enforce the idea that separate school systems for blacks and whites were inherently unequal, and thus violate the "equal protection clause" of the 14th Amendment.

Obstacles Faced;

  • De Facto Segregation
  • White violence to African American people
  • Prejudice people,
  • Massive resistance from the South
  • Governor George Wallace stopping colored students from entering his schools

Overcoming those Obstacles;

  • National Guard helping people in schools, getting students to class and protecting them
  • Creating equal education between all students, getting rid of prejudice in schools
  • Protesting the idea of De Facto segregation, and against racist individuals against intermixed schools
  • Having everyone begin to love together, all students having the chance to get closer with each other

Lasting Impact;

  • Interracial schools are everywhere. No one can be rejected from any school due to their skin color or face.
  • A significant amount of more African American people are in schools, along with many other races as well.
  • The case sparked more and more desegregation among America, especially in the South.
  • Racism has almost become nonexistent among people. The mindset is becoming a thing of the past for schools, public accommodations, work places and even online.

Current Day Event that Connects to Civil Rights Event?

Photo taken by Eric Gay of James Obergefell, The Man Behind the Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Case after it was declared a constitutional right.


When Gay Marriage was declared a Constitutional right, there was still a lot of people against it.

  • "We never thought this had to do with just marriage," says Kristen Waggoner, "This is about more than marriage.” She and many others are enforcing more LGBTQ rights, the end of discrimination, equality for religious or moral rights, and less government interference for same-sex marriage and relationships.

People have been fighting LGBT Rights and Same-Sex Marriage because they believe it contradicts their religious standpoints and what they stand for.

Photo taken by Pat Sullivan, of a man protesting Transgender individuals using their preferred bathrooms.


  • In states where same-sex marriage already was legal, people have tried refused service to people of the LGBTQ community, especially married couples. However, all documented attempts like this have resulted in a discrimination lawsuit.
  • Sadly, there are many more examples of bullying and violence directed towards gay individuals in schools, public places and online.

Goals and Obstacles of legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

  • One of the main goals of Brown vs. Board of Education was to get total equality for all students in schools, and to end segregation between students because of skin tone. However, some people are so opposed to the action that they're protesting and even inflicting pain on these people to see things how they do.
  • It's not shocking that the main goal of making same-sex marriage a constitutional right is equality. The LGBTQ community has been working for years to achieve this type of equality with people a part of opposite-sex relationships. People think that we're over the way of life that was showcased during the Civil Rights Movement, but they're far from it. The same prejudices are how pushed against people of the LGBTQ community as they were to anyone that didn't have a while skin tone.
  • By simply legalizing same-sex marriage across the entire country, millions of people were finally able to do something that most people have had the right to do for hundreds of years. Same-Sex couples were finally able to bond themselves together, legally and sometimes spiritually, forever. Which is exactly how African American students felt during the Civil Rights movement and during the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court Case.
  • Everyone just wanted equality, even if it means going against what's viewed as the social normality. It's literally that simple.

People are using signs, refusing service, and even using violence to try and 'end' same-sex marriage and couples, just like how people did the same to African American people trying to go to school after Brown vs the Board of Education.

Works Cited

  • Brown v. Board of Education Timeline. (2015, August 15). Retrieved April 21, 2017, from
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (2009). Brown v. Board of Education (E. Foner & J. A. Garraty, Eds.). Retrieved April 21, 2017, from
  • McBride, A. (2006, December). Brown v. Board of Education. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from
  • Wolf, R. (2016, May 29). Gay marriage victory at Supreme Court triggering backlash. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from
Created By
Kayla Ferris


Created with images by niekverlaan - "protest protest action group of people"

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