Separate but Equal

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Separate but Equal

The doctrine first enunciated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. 256 (1896), to the effect that establishing different facilities for blacks and whites was valid under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as long as they were equal.

The theory of separate but equal was used to justify segregated public facilities for blacks and whites until in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954), the Supreme Court recognized that "separate but equal" schools were "inherently unequal." The principle of "separate but equal" was further rejected by the Civil Rights Acts (42 U.S.C.A. § 2000a et seq.) and in subsequent cases, which ruled that racially segregated public facilities, housing, and accommodations violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of laws.

Cross-references

Civil Rights; Integration; "Plessy v. Ferguson" (Appendix, Primary Document).