Why did the desegregation of schools in the 1950s become a major problem?

Authors Avatar by dienmarr (student)

Why did the desegregation of schools in the 1950s become a major problem?

In the 1950’s, the Supreme Court ruled that the segregation of schools in America was to become illegal because of the inequality of facilities. Desegregation had to take place immediately, which meant that the white and black children had equal and fair rights in education. The process of desegregation became a major problem in the 1950s mainly due to the fact that the slavery years and the American Civil war brainwashed the American society into believing White Americans were superior over African Americans, therefore it was seen as unacceptable by the White Americans to allow desegregation to take place when they have grown up with the racist ideals.

The American Civil war was the main reason for desegregation of schools becoming such a major problem in the 1950’s. For example, black children in the Southern states had previously not attended school because they were slaves and they did not own the right to an education. President Lincoln was all for destroying slavery and the Southern blacks enjoyed their freedom for a time; they could do this because at the time, the north ruled the southern states, but that soon changed. After 1865, the power was back into the hands of the whites and they felt that freedom for black people was a threat to whites. This led the White Americans in the Southern states to introduce a chain of unfair laws called “Jim Crow Laws”.  These laws brought back racism and segregation which derived from slavery. In 1896, a law was passed which made the return of segregation legal as long as the education of blacks and whites was kept equal by having the same opportunities and facilities. This, however, did not happen – for the next 50 years schools still remained in segregation. Therefore, when the Supreme Court wanted to desegregate schools in America, there were public outcries, as they still had the racist views that segregation should remain as it was unacceptable for white children to mix with black children, due to their inferiority.

Join now!

Another reason to why desegregation of schools was a major problem is the Congress not wanting to lose out in elections - if they allowed segregation, they would lose a significant amount of votes, as the majority of people in America detested the idea of desegregating schools. The Linda Brown vs. Education Board of Topeka case in 1954 raised this issue. Linda Brown, an 11 year old girl, had to ride the bus five miles to an African American school, even though a public white school was only a few blocks away from her. Thurgood Marshall argued in the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay