A case Brown v. Board of Education was the landmark of United States Supreme Court that declared the establishment of separate public schools for white and black students as unconstitutional. The decision made by the court became the first step for fighting racial segregation in the United States.
In 1959, some parents sued in the Federal District Court against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. They claimed to stop racial segregation in the county. According to the law of Kansas in 1897, separate schools were established for black and white children.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) played an important role in this suit. The thing is that NAACP advised parents to send their children to the nearest schools. Oliver Brown stated that his daughter has the right to attend the school for white pupils (which was located 5 blocks from their home, while the black school was at the distance of 21 blocks). However, the District Court made decision in favor of the Board of Education. The court did not find any significant differences as well as inequality in school buildings, curriculum and training of teachers. Although the parents decided to take the case to the Supreme Court, it took three years before it came to an end in 1954. The court accepted the right of Linda Brown and other Afro-Americans to study in schools for white. The Supreme Court also claimed that it was unfair to separate children in different schools.
The main perspective of this paper is psychological, which involves a scientific study of mental conditions. It may also be looked at from a sociologist’s point of view. Sociologists study the society and are curious to know the social forces that prompt people into different courses of action. The psychologists, in their study of social relationships, also view this legislation differently.
American sociologist Richard Shaefer states that sociology is the systematic study of society based on sociological perspective. In this context, sociology has studied the American society in the light of sociological issue through the example of Brown v. Board of Education case. Sociologists seek to explore the society with unending curiosity concerning social issues surrounding them. Bearing in mind that sociology involves the study of social factors that are likely to influence personal choices, it is significant for sociologists to scrutinize the unfair treatment of Black Americans. This unfairness stipulated in the schools, emphasized the heights of racial segregation that were prevailing in the United States (pp.10-15).
It enhanced the equality before enactment of the law for the children of both African-American students and the Americans. This decision found inspiration from the principles of democracy and equality. Power is the ability to impose will on other human beings.
The decision may also be considered to have been political with intent to limit the level of education for the Black Americans so that they remain inferior and less powerful.
Any strain in the society causes a lot of changes; these are the changes that sociologists pay close attention to. For this reason, the society experienced strain due to the racial segregation in schools. The enactment of this law solved many predicaments in the society of the United States. For example, it reduced rates of crime in the society.
Considering that Black Americans also had the capability to perform well and achieve high and quality levels of education, it was unfair decision to hinder the development of the Black American Society. When Black Americans had completed their studies, their educational levels appeared to be poor. This brought about some strain in the society, an equal distribution of resources and suspicion between the White Americans and Black Americans. It served to save the entire American society from social conflict between Americans who owned the means of production after achieving high educational levels, as well as Black Americans who had low levels of education and could only offer their labor (Kendall, Murray & Linden). Linda Brown Oliver Brown’s daughter played a crucial role in this case. She did not have a chance to study in a school for white because her father was Afro-American. This is a factor that contributes to the backsliding of any society.
The social life for Black Americans was rather hard during the 1950s. They were not treated as the other White Americans until the Brown v. Board of Education reviewed all aspects of these discriminations. When the case was over, the Afro-Americans could now attend normal schools, and they could learn the same things together with White Americans.
In the social context, the segregation on a racial basis showed that even though physical facilities were not equal, it had a detrimental effect on the discriminated black children (Symbaluk & Tami). This impact turns to be even worse when it gets some support from the law on segregation that existed before Brown v. Board of Education case. Later Brown stated:
Initial excitement over the Brown victory dwindled, however, when desegregation of schools was not mandated as quickly as had been hoped. Marshall and his staff were disappointed that the Court did not impose a desegregation deadline on southern school districts. The NAACP prepared briefs suggesting that school desegregation transpire before fall 1956, and went to court again to argue for this relief. In Brown v. Board II, the Court focused on ways to quickly integrate school districts. The Court recognized that different districts would need to implement different techniques to end segregation, and Warren ruled on 31 May 1955 that school districts were required to desegregate only ‘‘with all deliberate speed’’ (349 U.S. 294 ).
Keenan states that the government should play a major role in preventing any racial and cultural segregation as it may be the result of many problems in the future. Politics is activity related to influencing, making, and implementing collective decisions. The atmosphere of politics allows for disagreeing and agreeing on the possible decisions. In the context of Brown v. Board of Education, the decision also suffered political reactions. The political interpretations of the Brown v. Board of Education should begin with an understanding of the political state of the United States in the 1950s. This legislation was extremely powerful in the political arena of the United States.
However, in the American Society, not everyone was satisfied with desegregation unraveled in the decision of Brown v. Board of Education. For example, Harry Byrd, a senator at that time, even organized some movements against desegregation process. As a matter of fact, he organized movements that were so massive that they advocated the closing of schools of the Negro group. Democracy is the rule of the people in which the adults participate and expect accountability. This was an extremely brutal political reaction from a leader, but luckily it did not gain much support.
Martin Luther King J. states, “On 4 September 1957, the first day of school at Central High, a white mob gathered in front of the school, and Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the black students from entering” (para .2).
In the field of politics, there is also an occurrence referred to as the tyranny of the majority (Nationalcenter.org). This occurred in the American society when the fundamental rights of education were violated under the legislation that existed before the Brown v. Board of Education. These responses from political figures in the United States after the Brown v. Board of Education case show that most of these leaders were racist, and only change could counter racism. The ideas that are stipulated by Conservatism and Liberalism also supported the Brown V. Board legislation. Liberalism argues that all men are equal, and they were created with specific unalienable rights. These rights being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness motivated the Brown v. Board.
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The Brown v. Board of Education has implications pertaining to the relationships between the pupils from different races. These are psychological implications, considerations and factors surrounding the Brown v. Board of Education. The African-American students who were studying in these schools before the enactment of this legislation suffered tremendously.
The psychology of children who face brutal treatment was a key factor during the arguments for the favor of this legislation. It is unfair for individual racial groups to feel inferior and segregate themselves. Also, the United States should have a respectful attitude towards all racial groups and cultural minorities. This would ensure harmonious coexistence of people from different states. The decision of the Supreme Court articulated that separating educational facilities was inherently unequal. They did this to protect Black children from stigmatization that comes along racial lines. This was unfair considering the fact that it is beyond anyone’s control to decide their skin color. Due to suffering extreme extents of stigmatization, the Blacks retaliated by actions of showing their psychological torturing experiences.
Before the enactment of this law by the Supreme Court, there were high rates of crime and suicide in the Black American Community. Sociologists state that it is usually reflected in the society when a certain group is experiencing mistreat from a more powerful group as it appears in the study of psychology. There could also be a psychological interpretation explaining the states of mind and relationships of the White Americans in the South. The White Americans were immensely proud since they believed their race was intellectually superior in comparison with the Black Americans. An equal reflection was also discovered in their relationships with Black Americans.
The current president of the United States, Barak Obama is African-American; consequently, this shows the political implication of this law. In politics, racism should not prevail because it only serves to divide the people and break the social bond of unity in a society.
From the foregoing, it is undisputable that the sociological, psychological and political factors of the Brown v. Board of Education case are immensely felt in the American society. The American society was markedly healed by this legal instrument since segregation did not promote any form of equality in the American community. Also, the psychological implications surrounding the study environment should be given the first priority in a child’s health. Skin color is a factor beyond anyone’s control and discrimination on such grounds, which only serves to undermine human dignity (Mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu.). Human beings are the unique creatures in the universe, their activities and policies governing them should, therefore, be guided by reason at all time. On that score, different social organizations should consider the pros and cons of any legislation passed by their law-making institutions.