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Many people were elated when Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka in May 1954, the ruling that struck down state-sponsored racial segregation in America's public schools. Thurgood Marshall, chief attorney for the black families that launched the litigation, exclaimed later, ""I was so happy, I was numb."" The novelist Ralph Ellison wrote, ""another battle of the Civil War has been won. The rest is up to us and I'm very glad. What a wonderful world of possibilities are unfolded for the children!""
Here, in a concise, narrative, James T. Patterson takes readers through the dramatic case and its 50-year aftermath. A wide range of characters animates the story, from the little-known African-Americans who dared to challenge Jim Crow with lawsuits (at great personal cost); to Thurgood Marshall, who later became a Justice himself; to Earl Warren, who shepherded a fractured Court to a unanimous decision.