Meet Linda Brown. Eight year old, Linda Brown was a third grader at the segregated Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas.
SEGREGATED SCHOOLS• In 1950, her father, the Reverend Oliver Brown was working at the Santa Fe Railway when he and 12 other African American families tried to enroll their children in “white only” elementary schools. The families were from several states throughout our nation. They sought justice from states such as Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.
Justice Denied.• The school boards in each state (with the exception of Delaware) refused to allow the children to enroll in “all-white” public schools. The Board members argued that “segregation” provided “separate, but equal” schools. Compare & Contrast!
The NAACP• The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) urged the families to take their case to the United States Supreme Court, the highest court the land. The case was argued by a noted African American lawyer named Thurgood Marshall.
The Supreme Court RulesOn May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruledin favor of the African American families. Attorney,ThurgoodMarshallsuccessfully arguedthe landmark case. The long road to public schoolintegration began that spring in 1954.
US Supreme Court Justice• Thirteen years later on August 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was appointed as the first African American Justice on the US Supreme Court.Justice Marshall served for 24 years before retiring from the bench in 1991.
To learn more…• about the Landmark Case, Brown vs. the Board of Education (Topeka, Kansas) -or-• Thurgood Marshall Visit:• Black History Portal