The Brown Litigation and Desegregation's Children

State Street School, Topeka, Kansas, 1955

Oliver Brown sued the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, on behalf of his daughter, Linda, after she was prohibited from attending an all-white public school located just a few blocks from home. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court declared in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), that racial segregation in public education violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The photograph below, taken just eight months after the decision in Brown I, depicts a newly desegregated classroom in Topeka. One year after the original Brown decision, in a second case styled Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294 (1955), the Supreme Court ordered local school districts to implement desegregation "with all deliberate speed."

State Street Schoolchildren

Photo credit: Kansas State Historical Society. Copy and reuse restrictions may apply.

Further reading: Dean Jim Chen has written extensively about the Brown litigation:

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