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McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (1950), like Sweatt v. Painter (1950), is a landmark case in civil rights law that demonstrated that because the “separate but equal” doctrine was eroding, it was not possible to provide a separate but equal education in graduate and professional schools as well as in K-12 education.

Facts of the Case

George McLaurin, an African American man, applied for admission to the all-White University of Oklahoma to obtain a doctoral degree in education. McLaurin was denied admission to the university solely due to his race under a state law that made it a misdemeanor to teach African American and White students in the same facility. When McLaurin pursued legal action to be admitted to the university, a federal court ...

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