Separate Is Not Equal - Brown v. Board of Education

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Behring Center

Segregated America
The Battleground
Legal Campaign
Five Communities Change a Nation
The Decision
  • Defenders of Segregation
  • Segregationists’ Argument
  • Challengers of Segregation
  • Integrationists’ Argument
  • Reaching a Decision
  • Court’s Decision
  • Timeline

The Segregationists’ Arguments

The case for the defenders of segregation rested on four arguments:

  • The Constitution did not require white and African American children to attend the same schools.
  • Social separation of blacks and whites was a regional custom; the states should be left free to regulate their own social affairs.
  • Segregation was not harmful to black people.
  • Whites were making a good faith effort to equalize the two educational systems. But because black children were still living with the effects of slavery, it would take some time before they were able to compete with white children in the same classroom.
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