Landmark desegregation decisons made by U.S. Supreme Court

On June 5th 1950 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions that were influential in determining the outcome of Brown v. Board of Education: Sweatt v. Painter, and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents. The former challenged the separate but equal doctrine and the latter ruled that a public institution could not treat someone differently because of race. In the Oklahoma case, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision affirming a state law requiring African Americans be given an education on a segregated basis. A student George McLaurin sued after being forced to sit at a separate lunch table.

In Sweatt v. Painter, Heman Marion Sweatt, was refused admission to the University of Texas law school. Texas university set up an all black law school to maintain segregated education. The black law school was determined by the court to not meet the same standard as the segregated white school.

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Denise Winebrenner Edwards
Denise Winebrenner Edwards

Denise Winebrenner Edwards is a long-time trade union and community activist. She lives in western Pennsylvania.