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
  • “With All Deliberate Speed”
  • Freedom Struggle
  • Equality for All
  • Changing Definitions
  • Communities Since Brown
  • Fifty Years After

Fifty Years After Brown

“SAVE Brown vs. Board of Education BUILD The new civil rights movement”

Brown v. Board of Education did not by itself transform American society. Changing laws does not always change minds. But today, thanks in part to the victorious struggle in the Brown case, most Americans believe that a racially integrated, ethnically diverse educational system is a worthy goal, though they may disagree deeply about how to achieve it.

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down school segregation, it advanced the cause of human rights in America and set an example for all the peoples of the world. The American dream of ethnic diversity and racial equality under the law is a dream of liberty and justice for all.


Had there been no May 17, 1954, I’m not sure there would have been a Little Rock. I’m not sure there would have been a Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks, had it not been for May 17, 1954. It created an environment for us to push, for us to pull.

We live in a different country, a better country, because of what happened here in 1954. And we must never forget it. We must tell the story again, over and over and over. ”

U.S. Rep. John Lewis at a ceremony commemorating the 48th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education at Topeka’s First United Methodist Church