"B" is for Briggs v. Elliott (1954)

May 18, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"B" is for Briggs v. Elliott (1954). Briggs v. Elliott was one of five cases, collectively entitled Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee, KS, et al., argued before the U.S. Supreme Court by attorneys for the NAACP. Originally a lawsuit filed by twenty African American parents in Clarendon County for educational opportunities for their children, Briggs v. Elliott was the first case in the twentieth century to challenge the constitutionality of racially segregated schools. Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP represented the parents. In 1951, the case was tried in the federal district court in Charleston. The court ruled against the plaintiffs (2-1; with Judge Waites Waring dissenting). Briggs v. Elliott was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court where it became part of the historic Brown decision declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional.