1954- Brown v. the Board of Education
"We conclude, unanimously, that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal".
(Chief Justice Earl Warren)

The winning of this case in the Supreme Court of the United States was the official beginning and legal basis for the modern Civil Rights Movement.

From Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch, p112:
On May 17, two weeks after Kings first sermon as pastor-designate of Dextor (Baptist Church in Montgomery; this is M.L. King, Jr.s first job after his doctoral), Chief Justice Earl Warren handed down the Courts decision in the Brown Case, without advance notice. News on the matter was so intense that the associated press issued an advance warning at 12:52 pm noting simply that Warren was issuing the opinion, another at 1:12 PM saying that he "had not read far enough into the courts opinion" for reporters to discern its conclusion, and a final bulletin at 1:20 declaring the court had stuck down school desegregation as unconstitutional by a vote of 8-0.
The earth shook, then it did not. There were no street celebrations in the Negro communities. At Spellman College in Atlanta, sophomore Barbara Johns continued her long standing silence about her role in the case, sensing mild apprehension among her fellow students. They seemed to worry the great vindication might mean the extinction of schools like Spellman….

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