May 16, 2024 - History

The legacy of Brown v. Board in Columbus

Children walk to school holding signs decrying segregation in a 1956 historical photo.

Black children carry signs in Hillsboro, Ohio, after the Supreme Court ordered integration in American public schools. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

Friday marks the 70th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools.

Why it matters: This was a major milestone in the Civil Rights Movement and paved the way for integration in Columbus schools, though systemic inequities in American education still persist, seven decades later.

Flashback: Columbus City Schools and other districts remained segregated for years after the ruling as integration efforts faced significant resistance.

Yes, but: Integration drove many white families to the suburbs over the following decades, furthering a racial and economic divide.

  • Columbus ended the busing program in 1996 in favor of a neighborhood school model.

The big picture: Local officials are still reckoning with past discriminatory policies like redlining and community destruction to build highways.

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