Caroline Emmons


Segregation had many faces in th South prior to the 1960s, but perhaps most familiar were the separate school systems for black and white children. The 1954 Brown v. the Board of Education decision, the landmark ruling that prohibited segregated schools, galvanized the civil rights movement and signaled the end of the South's racial caste system. Before the Brown fight was engaged or even fully conceived, however, efforts to equalize black and white teacher's salarie in the South laid the groundwork for a direct attack on school segregation. Florida was at the center of the pay equity battle. Between the late 1930s and mid-1940s, African-American teachers, with the support of th Nationl Association for the Advancement of Colored People, initiated a number of court battles seeking to equalize their pay with that of white teachers. These cases established precedents for overturning the Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine of "separate but equal" and, although they did not always result in immediate victory, empowered and politicized an important segment of the African-American population.