School and housing segregation occur when members of particular groups are kept separate from one another either as a matter of formal law (de jure segregation) or by limiting access through custom, through the unregulated operation of markets, or on the basis of other factors that correlate with membership in these groups (de facto segregation). From an international perspective, race, caste, ethnicity, religion, and, arguably, social class have been used as bases for disparate access.

In the United States, the de jure educational segregation of blacks has a long history both in the north and in the south. In many antebellum southern states such as Virginia, educating free or enslaved children was a criminal offense. However, the first court case that challenged racially segregated schools occurred ...

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