Linda Brown was a third grader in Topeka, Kansas, when her father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white public school four blocks from her home. Otherwise, she would have had to walk across railroad tracks to take a bus to attend the nearest all-Black one.

When she was denied admission, Oliver Brown sued.

The case, and four others from Delaware, the District of Columbia, South Carolina and Virginia were combined and made their way to the Supreme Court. All of them involved school children required to attend all-Black schools that were of lower quality than schools for white children.

While the Supreme Court found in 1954 in Oliver Brown’s favor, years would pass before desegregation  of American schools began in earnest. And for many Black students now, 70 years since the nation’s highest court held unanimously that separate is inherently unequal, educational resources and access remain woefully uneven.

Here are some of the racial realities of American public education today:

  • 25: That’s the percentage increase in Black-white school segregation between 1991 and 2019, according to an analysis of 533 districts by sociologists Sean Reardon at Stanford University and Ann Owens at the University of Southern California.
  • 10: That’s the proportion of Black students learning in a school where more than 90 percent of their classmates were also Black, according to 2022 Department of Education data.
  • 6: This is the percentage of teachers in American public schools who are Black.
  • 2014: That’s the year that Wilcox County High School, in rural Georgia, held its first school-sponsored, racially integrated prom.
  • $14,385: This is the average amount spent per Black pupil in public school, compared with $14,263 per white student, according to a 2022 analysis of 2017-18 data by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • 7: That’s the share of incoming students at the University of Mississippi who were Black in 2022 — even though nearly half the state’s public high school graduates, 48 percent, were Black that year.
  • 700: That’s roughly how many high schools are offering the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies course this school year, more than 10 times as many that offered it a year earlier, when it debuted.

Read the full article about realities for Black students at The Hechinger Report .