It is incredible to imagine it now, but prior to Brown v. Board of Education, many states had laws that mandated schools be set up to educate children separated by color. The schools were not always close to where the African American children lived and were not up to the same standards as schools that white children attended. Beginning in 1950, African American parents attempted to sign their children up to go to the schools where white children attended; they were refused. This set into motion court cases that ended up at the Supreme Court level. In 1954, the landmark case determined this practice to be unconstitutional, and school segregation was outlawed.
United States. National Park Service. "Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. Web. 17 May 2016.
"Saint Paul Federation of Teachers." Saint Paul Federation of Teachers RSS2. Web. 17 May 2016. <http://www.spft.org/2014/05/brown-vs-board-of-education-the-60th-anniversary/>.