Linda Brown of Historic Brown v. Board of Education, Dies at 76
Linda Brown of Historic Brown v. Board of Education, Dies at 76
Linda Brown, who was at center of Brown v. Board of Education case, dies at 76
28 March, 2018, 01:16
The Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel of Topeka, which is handling the funeral arrangement, confirmed that Brown died on Sunday afternoon, aged 75, the Associated Press reported, but no cause of death was released.
Brown, a native of Topeka, KS, was 9 years old when her father tried to enroll her in the all-white Sumner School in 1951.
"Brown vs. Board of Education" went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1954 ruled that having separate schools for black and white students was unconstitutional.
"Linda was quiet", she told the newspaper.
Kansas governor Jeff Colyertweeted his condolences, saying that the actions of Brown and her family had had an "incredible impact" on the world.
The ensuing court case, widely seen as marking the dawn of the modern US civil rights era, was handled and argued by the NAACP's lead attorney, Thurgood Marshall, who went on years later to be appointed the first African-American justice on the US Supreme Court.
Linda Brown, who as a young girl was at the centre of the lawsuit that ended racial segregation in American schools, has died at the age of 76. Instead, Linda would be assigned to attend an all-Black school miles away.
Brown v. Board, consolidated under that title with four other cases from the District of Columbia, South Carolina, Virginia and DE, was actually heard by the Supreme Court twice, in June 1953 and again in December 1954 after Earl Warren was appointed chief justice. According to the Brown Foundation, which promotes the history of the case, Oliver Brown was named the lead plaintiff "as a legal strategy to have a man at the head of the roster".
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In 1950 her father, a welder and an associate pastor, joined the Topeka NAACP's legal challenge to a Kansas law that permitted racially segregated elementary schools in certain cities based on population.
The most famous Supreme Court case in American history bore Brown Thompson's last name nearly by chance.
Brown's close friend Carolyn Campbell described Brown as a shy person: "Linda was quiet".
While she confirmed her passing, Brown's sister Cheryl said the family would not be commenting. "The Board of Education, it has made an impact in all facets of life for minorities throughout the land", Brown said during the interview.
"We feel disheartened that 40 years later we're still talking about desegregation", Brown Thompson told The Washington Post in 1994. "It was not easy for her or her family, but her sacrifice broke barriers and changed the meaning of equality in this country", Ifill said.
High schools and junior high schools were integrated, too, she said. She lived 20 blocks from her segregated school, but just five blocks from the all-white school.
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