Desegregation of Schools
Following the 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, legal segregation became the standard across the United States, until it was overturned in 1954 in the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which made the desegregation of American schools a major priority towards achieving equality. However, the desegregation of schools in America was met with massive resistance in the South.
In 1957, Arkansas governor Orval Fabus ordered his state’s national guard to block the admission of nine African American students into Little Rock Central High School, with the confrontation only ended when President Eisenhower sent in U.S. troops to protect the students and enforce the federal law. In Virginia, one county disbanded its entire public school system in an effort to prevent desegregation until that action was deemed illegal.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped further the desegregation of schools in the United States. One of the ways in which this was often achieved was forced busing in order to meet racial quotas at various schools across the country. According to government statistics, desegregation in schools peaked in 1988. Following that, the American school system has faced growing de facto segregation, as people are consciously moving to racial enclaves, such as whites fleeing cities to the outer suburbs.