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The landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v Board of Education 1954 settled the question of whether or not blacks and whites can receive an education integrated with or separate from each other The case overturned the 1896 case of Plessy v Ferguson which established the doctrine of separate but equal This doctrine stated that separate public facilities of equal quality do not violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution which states that all US citizens have equal protection under the law The Supreme Court ruled unanimously to end racial segregation in public schools The Courts decision was based on the dehumanizing effects of segregation Although school facilities may be equal segregating one race from another denounces one race as inferior and the other as superior That feeling of inferiority interferes with the motivation to learn and deprives blacks of the benefits of an education they would have received in an integregated school The Brown case was the end of government sanctioned segregation in the United States Once the Brown decision was handed down the African-American community placed pressure on the legal and political system to bring an end to state-supported segregation in all public facilities through the Civil Rights Movement The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also barred discrimination by employers and unions and established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce fair employment practices The act also provided for a cutoff of federal funds for any program or activity that allowed racial discrimination Some people condemned the Supreme Courts ruling as interfering with state rights and sought a reversal of the Courts decision but their efforts were futile The emergenece of the Civil Rights Movement also saw resistance in the form of race riots and violence The Supreme Court was able to change laws concerning segregation but it was unable to change the attitudes of many Americans concerning race relations
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