“Things brought to the attention of Harry Briggs.

“Things don’t just happen, you’ve got to make them” (Boyce 94). In 1952 racial tensions were high in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Harry Briggs is one of many concerned parents of African American schoolchildren. R.W. Elliott, the superintendent of Clarendon County Schools, failed to provide transportation to African American students. The Briggs v. Elliott court case was the first one out of five court cases in the Brown v. Board of Education court case. Due to the conflict of racial segregation in schools, the Supreme Court, with help from the NAACP, compromised the Brown vs. Board of Education Court Case (which included five separate court cases) and eventually led to the beginning of racial justice. Prior to the court case in 1951, there was a separation between African American and white children schools in Clarendon County. “In spite of the mandates outlined in the newly amended U.S. Constitution, freedom and equal rights were not readily bestowed upon African Americans” (The Brown Foundation). White and African American children in Clarendon County had different learning facilities. R.W. Elliott was the superintendent of Clarendon County Schools District at the time. White children had buses and other transportation provided for them, while African American children did not have buses and had to walk, in some cases even miles. This was an issue for the African American schoolchildren because the schools for them are usually located in the middle of nowhere. This issue was brought to the  attention of Harry Briggs. When he brought this issue to the superintendent he disrespectfully replied to Briggs with comments stating “black citizens did not pay enough taxes to support a bus” and “asking white taxpayers to do this would be unfair” (Botsch). This made Harry Briggs even angrier. Eventually, Briggs brought this to the attention of the federal court. To begin with, the Briggs v. Elliott court case started out as a simple question of transportation for African American children. When Elliott made the inferior comment to Briggs after he brought this issue to the superintendent, it sparked the whole event. That is when Briggs decided to take this issue to court. During the trial Thurgood Marshall was the main lawyer, but there were another group of lawyers led by him and he talked about the differences between the school for white children and African American children. For example, Marshall stated that “little money was spent on schools for black children” and “their schools were not equal to schools that white children attended” (Library of Congress). The court favored Briggs and Marshall, the court stated this case violated the 14th Amendment.After this trial, the court stated that schools will be separated but equal, but Marshall opposes. Marshall believes that schools could never be equal if they are separated. Marshall and Briggs brought this case to the United State Supreme Court. During this time, there were many similar situations to the Briggs v. Elliott court case around the United States. Cases like Bulah v. Gebhart of Delaware or Bolling v. Sharpe of Washington D.C all had the same motive, to remove the segregation in schools. Later on, Thurgood Marshall became the chief staff lawyer for the NAACP. Briggs and Marshall brought this court case to the United States Supreme Court. Shortly after the federal court trial in Charleston, South Carolina, Marshall as the main lawyer with another group of lawyers and the plaintiff Briggs brought the case to the United States Supreme Court. Briggs v. Elliott was one of the first cases based on segregation to reach the United States Supreme Court. During the trial, Marshall argued that schools would never be equal if they were separated. Marshall believes that all children, white and African American, should go to one school together. Marshall states “whites might not like to go to school with the Negro…that is not saying he won’t” (Bostch). Many months after the Supreme Court trial, the United Supreme Court ruled with Briggs and Marshall. This was a huge accomplishment for desegregation in schools. African American and white children would now go to the same school. Since this event, many short term impacts occurred throughout the United States. Most of these changes impacted the petitioners. The majority of the impacts were negative, but there were also many positive impacts. Harry Briggs was fired from his job, along with many other protesters. South Carolina House of Representative forced Judge Walter Waring to leave the state. School teacher DeLaine saw her own house burned to the ground because she affiliated with the protesters. While that was going on  a lot of new school were built throughout the United States. “Governor Byrnes led South Carolina’s General Assembly in passing the state’s first sales tax of 3% to fund needed improvements to schools.  The state took over school transportation and purchased buses to transport both white and black students to school.  The state also required school districts to close most of their small schools and build new larger ones for students” (Dobrasko). As a result of the Briggs v. Elliott court case many of the effects still impact us today. Ever since the Supreme Court trial, “the Clarendon County school district began construction on a new black high school building” (Dobrasko). School for African American children used to be a small shak made out of wood in the middle of nowhere. Now everything has changed, schools for African American children are more advanced and it could give the the children a better environment to learn. African American and white students attend school together now, without the Briggs v. Elliott court case this would have never happened. School would be divided and all the children of different race and religion would be split up to different schools. Briggs v. Elliott court case led to the development of equal rights in the United States.In conclusion, The Briggs v. Elliott court case was the first one out of five court cases in the Brown v. Board of Education court case. Due to the conflict of racial segregation in schools, the Supreme Court, with help from the NAACP, compromised the Brown vs. Board of Education Court Case (which included five separate court cases) and eventually led to the beginning of racial justice. In Clarendon County, South Carolina, parents of African American children was concerned about how their children had to walk while white children get buses. When this was brought to the attention of the superintendent he ignores them, that is when the parents decided to take matter into their own hands. This case went to the Federal Court and the United States Supreme Court. The courts states “Separate but Equal” but Marshall disagrees, he contradicts with how could anything be equal if it is separate? With the help of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP these parent got what they wanted, there was bus transportation and there was one facility for both African American and White children. Without the Briggs v. Elliott court case schools today would not be the same!