Fighting Education in America

Education in the United States has been a battle for many groups of people, focusing here on African Americans and women. A battle to gain the right to an American education that for a long time in history was not equally available to all citizens. During the Reconstruction period, 1865-1877, blacks took a leap towards receiving their own education, understanding that it was a step further towards their own freedom. Schools had previously not been available to the majority of blacks and so they took it into their own hands to create schooling for themselves. During this time, there was the creation of the first black colleges such as Howard University and Fisk University. Although this was a step, schools were still extremely openly segregated and not available to all. When blacks started fighting for their own education during this time period, people in America began to fight against segregation within the education system. In 1954 there was the Brown v. Board of Education, in which the U.S Supreme Court declared segregation unconstitutional. It was during this time that blacks fought against the inequalities that occurred daily within the school system. They stated that groups of people should not be separated from one another and that “separate but equal” was unjust because there wasn’t equality at all. The fight and success that occurred in the Brown v. Board of Education event, and many others during the Civil Rights movement gave way to women fighting for their own rights to education also. During the 1960s, universities limited the percentage of women that they accepted each year. During the 50s women were encouraged to stay at home, raise families and many did not see education as an option. After seeing these other cases challenge the laws, women were given the drive to fight for their own education also. Proven successful, women in the year 2000 were responsible for 60% of the college degrees, and also continued to raise families at the same time.

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