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By Joey Lyons, VI Form
Racial Integration at St. Mark’s: The Experience and Legacy of Ethan Anthony Loney
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation in public schools deprived minority children of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court’s decision in Brown repudiated the “separate but equal” principle, a principle that had prevailed in the United States since Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). In his unanimous opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” After a second decision a year later, in Brown II, the Court demanded that public schools integrate “with all deliberate speed.” However, the desegregation of public schools proceeded slowly, particularly in the South, which engaged in “massive resistance” and passed laws declaring the Brown decision invalid. Unlike southern states, northern states did not reject the Court’s ruling outright. Instead, northern school boards drew school zones that reflected white and black neighborhoods, thus maintaining segregated school systems. (more…)