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Civil-rights figure Linda Brown dies at 76

28 March, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • Linda Brown, who was at center of Brown v. Board of Education case, dies at 76

Brown, 75, died Sunday afternoon in Topeka, Kansas, the spokesman said. Additional details were not immediately available.

Brown's sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson, confirmed her death to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Brown's side won that case in a Court of Appeals, leading to the construction of three new area schools, according to Biography.com.

Topeka's former Sumner School was all-white when Brown's father, Oliver, tried to enroll the family.

Busing students from their home neighborhoods to schools in other areas was begun to address the situation, but that move was still being contested more than 20 years after Brown v. Board. When all of their applications were denied, the NAACP filed a lawsuit led by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the segregation violated the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment.

The Brown decision overturned the court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which on May 18, 1896, established a "separate but equal" doctrine for black people in public facilities. The case would drag on for years, but eventually brought the end of segregated schools in Topeka in 1993.


The decision was followed by a more than decade-long nationwide protest against racial segregation in public places that culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. "I really think of it in terms of what it has done for our young people, in taking away that feeling of second-class citizenship".

In 1954, the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision marked a pivotal point in American history by declaring racial segregation in schools to be unconstitutional. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings.

"Linda was quiet", she told the newspaper.

Linda Brown was born in Topeka to Leola and Oliver Brown.

"They were told, 'Find the nearest white school to your home and take your child or children and a witness, and attempt to enroll in the fall, and then come back and tell us what happened, ' " she said. The family received a registration form for the school in 1952, apparently by mistake.

Linda's father Oliver Brown was among 13 plaintiffs in that historical case, which is a watershed moment in the history of Blacks in America and their constant struggle for economic, political and social equality.

"He believed that a child having to go so far to receive a quality education was wrong, just because of the colour of skin, and he was very, very determined that something was going to be done about this", she added. She later worked as an educational consultant and public speaker. Years later, she returned to Topeka and took on the civil rights mantle of her father, who died in 1961.

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