The Five Cases

The Brown v. Board decision didn't stem from a single case, rather it was a ruling for a bundling of cases that all challenged racial segregation in public schools. The cases were filed in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Kansas. They had a variety of circumstances from single-room shacks labeled 'schools,' to student-led strikes with more than 400 participants, and had more than 200 total plaintiffs.

The challenge to end racial segregation in public schools across the country remained a unifying theme, so the supreme court decided to bundle the cases and issue a single ruling on what was a national issue, not just a southern one.

Read more about each of the specific cases below.

  • Hockesson number 107, a small and vastly inferior schoolhouse.

    Belton (Bulah) v. Gebhart

    Two cases of inequality, Belton v. Gebhart, and Bulah v. Gebhart argued by Louis Redding, Delaware's first African American attorney.

  • The superior, modern brick building for John Phillip Sousa Junior High School

    Bolling v. Sharpe

    John Phillip Sousa Junior High School in Washington D.C. refused to admit 11 African Americans despite having several empty classrooms.

  • Monroe Elementary, a seemingly equal facility

    Brown v. Board of Education

    Started by the NAACP, 13 parents in Topeka, KS. enrolled their children in white schools but were refused.

  • Liberty Hill, a one room wood and tar paper shack of a school in Clarendon county South Carolina.

    Briggs v. Elliott

    When their petition for buses was ignored, 20 parents in South Carolina filed suit to challenge segregation itself.

  • Inferior tar paper Robert Russa Moton High School building.

    Davis v. County School Board

    Following a 400-student strike in Farmville, VA, the NAACP agreed to help them file suit against segregation itself.

Last updated: March 26, 2022

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