RACE + EDUCATION

How America Broke Its Promise of Brown v. Board of Education

Racial inequities persist, and private school vouchers are not the solution

Allison Wiltz
Age of Awareness
Published in
7 min readJun 9, 2024

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Attentive students working on an assignment during class | Photo by Katerina Holmes via Pexels

Separate but equal," the legal doctrine established in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case, became the standard justification for upholding Jim Crow laws. This unjust system perpetuated racial disparities in every facet of life, as observed in the realm of public education. As Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education unanimous opinion, "Education of white children was largely in the hands of private groups." In contrast, the "education of Negroes was almost nonexistent, and practically all of the race were illiterate. In fact, any education of Negroes was forbidden by law in some states." Before tax-funded public schools, education in America was primarily reserved for White, wealthy people.

Brown v. Board of Education is often considered the case that legally discredited racial segregation policies. However, the Supreme Court's decision was based on segregation policies violating the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. Thus, any effort to deprive Black students of equal access to education violates their constitutional rights. Yet, in the 70 years since Brown v. Board of Education, America…

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Allison Wiltz
Age of Awareness

Black womanist Scholar bylines @ Momentum, Oprah Daily, ZORA, GEN, EIC of Cultured #WEOC Founder allisonthedailywriter.com https://ko-fi.com/allyfromnola