Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of the unanimous Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation, Kluger has updated his work with a new final chapter covering events and issues that have arisen since the book was first published, including developments in civil rights and recent cases involving affirmative action, which rose directly out of Brown v. Board of Education. Future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall made arguments in the case on behalf of the NAACP.
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Race relations between Americans of European origin and others, including Africans, Indians, and Asians, have been an issue since colonial days. The principle of "separate but equal" education, a mainstay of segregation in the Deep South, was overturned by the Supreme court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. Thurgood Marshall led the NAACP legal team in Brown v. Board of Education, overturning legal segregation in schools, and went on to become the first black justice on the Supreme Court. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been in the forefront of civil rights activity for a century.