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Race and the U.S. constitution

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  1. The relationship between Races and the Constitution Prior to 1954
  2. The Brown decision: the path towards genuine racial justice

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) is often considered as one of the "most important Supreme Court cases in American history" because it outlawed de jure racial segregation in public education, thus overturning the "separate but equal" doctrine maintained since Plessy v Ferguson (1896). Certainly, it "set the nation on the path toward genuine racial justice". However, its enforcement was not immediate and encountered great resistance. After considering the relationship between races and the constitution prior to 1954, this essay will analyze how the reversal of the "separate but equal" doctrine by the Supreme Court in 1954 was possible, and will examine its consequences. However, the Southern States used the "all deliberate speed" formula to maintain the status quo in public education for 15 years. Despite the path-breaking decision in favor of Brown, the way to genuine racial justice was a long and tortuous one.

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