In the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education, the Court ruled that racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court explicitly stated that separate educational facilities, which were segregated based on race, were inherently unequal, and therefore violated the constitutional rights of African American students.
The decision in Brown v. Board of Education overturned the "separate but equal" doctrine established by the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which had sanctioned racial segregation in public facilities as long as they were deemed equal. The Brown v. Board of Education decision was a major turning point in the civil rights movement in the United States and set the stage for desegregation efforts in public schools and other areas of society. The decision was a significant step towards ending racial segregation and promoting racial equality in the United States.