Blacks and whites attended different schools. This condition brought about the five cases demanding inclusion in schools. One of cases involved the parents of a little girl versus the board of education of Topeka. The girl’s parents intended to enroll her in an all-white school. This was in the 1950’s and although schools for blacks and whites were separate, they claimed they offered equal opportunities. These are the reasons why Brown and other black children could not receive admissions in the all-white schools.
Before Brown’s case, the American society especially in the south believed in ‘separate and equal’ doctrine laid out by the Supreme Court after Plessey versus Fergusson case in 1896. In many states, the doctrine received an interpretation that further led to blacks feeling inferior. In most states, school systems favored white schools offering them better learning opportunities and facilities. On the other hand, black children suffered. Only a percentage of them attended school while all white children had access to quality education. Black children had to walk miles to get to school if schools in their neighborhoods were for whites. Conditions in black schools were poor. Many blacks filed lawsuits in district courts demanding fair treatment between whites and blacks but they lost (Miller, 2004). Conditions were similar in Delamere, Virginia, Kansas and other southern states. Similar cases against high school and college segregation were coming up often.
According to Anderson (2004), Thurgood Marshall and members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People took up many of the cases fighting for desegregation in schools. The Supreme Court that had that laid out the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine received various challenges regarding the use of the same against blacks. In most schools, separate applied but equality was far beyond reach. The states spend a large amount to educate whites and