37¢ Brown vs. Board of Education
To Form a More Perfect Union
Issue Date: August 27, 2005
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75 x 10.5
In Topeka, Kansas, seven-year-old Linda Brown had to walk one mile to get to her black elementary school; a white school was only seven blocks away. Mr. Brown tried unsuccessfully to enroll his daughter in the white school. He appealed for help to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In June 1951, the Kansas U.S. District Court heard Brown’s case against the Topeka school board. The NAACP argued that segregated schools sent a message to black children that they were inferior to whites; therefore, the schools were not equal.
Interpretation of an earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision, Plessy v. Ferguson, had allowed separate but equal school systems for blacks and whites. Based on this precedent, the district court ruled against Brown.
The NAACP appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 17, l954, the Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine for public education and required the desegregation of schools across America.
Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the Court, saying “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” The Brown v. Board of Education decision sparked a movement to desegregate all public facilities across the American South.