Brown v. Board of Education: On This Day, May 17

On May 17, 1954, the US Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, unanimously ruling that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. The decision overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson, which infamously permitted "separate but equal" facilities. Chief Justice Earl Warren responded directly to the 60-year-old case when he declared, "In the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

Though the ruling applied only to public schools, Brown v. Board of Education set an important legal precedent and paved the way for further battles against segregation. In this video Larry Kramer, former dean of Stanford Law School, delves into the details of Brown v. Board of Education and examines the effect it had on the Civil Rights Movement at large, especially in setting the stage for future desegregation cases.