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In Memory Of, And Respect For, Linda Brown Of The Brown v. Board of Education Desegregation Case, Dead At 75

March 27, 2018

This was an American who made a difference, and helped change a nation.  So much respect from this home for Linda Brown.

The neighborhood the family lived in was integrated.

“I played with children that were Spanish-American,” Linda Brown said in a 1985 interview. “I played with children that were white, children that were Indian, and black children in my neighborhood.”

Nor were her parents dissatisfied with the black school she was attending. What upset Oliver Brown was the distance Linda had to travel to get to school — first a walk through a rail yard and across a busy road, then a bus ride.

“When I first started the walk it was very frightening to me,” she said, “and then when wintertime came, it was a very cold walk. I remember that. I remember walking, tears freezing up on my face, because I began to cry.”

In an interview with The Miami Herald in 1987, she remembered the fateful day in September 1950 when her father took her to the Sumner School.

“It was a bright, sunny day and we walked briskly,” she said, “and I remember getting to these great big steps.”

The school told her father no, she could not be enrolled.

“I could tell something was wrong, and he came out and took me by the hand and we walked back home,” she said. “We walked even more briskly, and I could feel the tension being transferred from his hand to mine.”

In its ruling, the Supreme Court threw out the prevailing “separate but equal” doctrine, which had allowed racial segregation in the schools as long as students of all races were afforded equal facilities.

“To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race,” the court said, “generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.”

By the time of the ruling, Ms. Brown was in an integrated junior high school. She later became an educational consultant and public speaker.

Her family was among several that reopened the original Brown case in 1979 to argue that the job of integration in Topeka remained incomplete. The case resulted in the opening of several magnet schools.

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