Homer Plessy, in 1892, refused to give up his seat to a white man on a train to New Orleans. He took the case to the Supreme Court and the court decided that segregation was legal as long as it was separate but equal.
If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane.
Linda Brown was a 7 year old African American girl from Topeka, Kansas. She went to enroll in their local school however she was rejected due to her race.
I want to enroll my daughter for school.
You cannot attend this school. This school is for whites only.
This meant to get to the Coloured school she had to catch the bus and walk four blocks as well as crossing train tracks.
How is that fair. Why can't I just go to my local school.
Along with 20 other black students, they filed a class action suite against Topeka's board of education. The aim was for racial separation to end in schools. However, the federal court ruled in favor of the Board of Education.
FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT
They then took their case to the Supreme Court. In the end the Court ruled that segregation in schools wasn't separate but equal so all schools had to be desegregated.
Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal
They didn't want to desegregate their schools. Instead, they closed the schools and bused white students off to private academies. Some states decided to desegregate very slowly as the Supreme Court didn't decide a timeline of when schools had to be desegregated by.