The face behind the iconic Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education case that ended segregation in American schools, Linda Brown, died on Sunday afternoon in Topeka, Kansas.
As we lift up the activism of young ppl, let’s remember the sacrifice of children like #LindaBrown of #BrownvBoard who passed away today, her family & families from DE, SC, VA, DC who laid their lives and livelihoods on the line to transform our democracy. #RestInPower pic.twitter.com/XwwxOPDMDR
— Janai Nelson (@JNelsonLDF) March 26, 2018
Brown was 9 years old in 1951 when her father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her at Sumner Elementary School, then an all-white school near her Topeka home. When the school blocked her enrollment, her father sued the Topeka Board of Education. Four similar cases were combined with Brown’s complaint and presented to the Supreme Court as Oliver L. Brown et al v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, et al.
While her name will forever be a part of American civil rights history, her contributions to the community after the case are part of her legacy, too, longtime friend Carolyn Campbell said.
The ruling overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, which established the separate but equal doctrine that formed the legal basis for Jim Crow laws. The court directed schools to desegregate “with all deliberate speed,” but it failed to establish a firm timetable for doing so. The Supreme Court would outline the process of school desegregation in Brown II in 1955, but it would take years for schools across the nation to fully comply.
“Linda Brown is one of that special band of heroic young people who, along with her family, courageously fought to end the ultimate symbol of white supremacy — racial segregation in public schools. She stands as an example of how ordinary schoolchildren took center stage in transforming this country,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel at NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Story sourced from CNN News
Compiled by Lavanya Narayanan