For some black children, the nearest school with their grade was 10 miles away!
Mr. Levi Pearson was unhappy that there was NO BUS to take his children to school
Rev. J.A. De Laine was an A.M.E. pastor. He was Mr. Pearsons friend.
In 1947, Mr. J.M. Hinton challenged:No teacher or preacher in South Carolina has the courage to get a plaintiff to test the school bus transportation practices of discrimination against Negro children.
Rev. De Laine took the challenge and Mr. Pearson agreed to be the Plaintiff.
Levi Pearson vs. Clarendon County and School District No. 26 became the First Legal Step toward Briggs v. Elliott A Lawsuit:
Even with poor facilities and no buses, black children still went to school and achieved.
First came the Pearson bus transportation lawsuit
Then came the first Briggs v. Elliott, suing for Separate But Equal
In 1951, there was the final Briggs v. Elliott, suing for desegregation
However, the judges did rule that school facilities must be made MORE EQUAL for black children
Warings Dissenting Opinion in a Nutshell: You guys ought to be ashamed to call such rot justice from a United States Court. I want no part of it. The dissenting Judge Waring
South Carolina approved a $75,000,000 bond to support equalization of schools.
At last, school buses were provided for black children
A new building (top) equalized Scotts Branch School and Summerton High (bottom) Scotts Branch Summerton High
Briggs v. Elliott was appealed to the Supreme Court
On January 28, 1952, Briggs v. Elliott was returned to the District Court for a report on equalization progress
By the time Briggs v. Elliott got back to the Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education was there
Briggs v. Elliott and three other cases were argued along with Brown v. Board of Education
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled In the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place.
In response to pleas about the time needed to integrate schools, on May 31, 1955, the Court ruled Admission to public schools on a non-discriminatory basis must take place with all deliberate speed.
Many civil rights battles were later fought, but the heroes of Briggs v. Elliott had set the stage. America had promised to uphold its guarantee of LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.