Linda Brown remembered as a hero in Civil Rights movement

WASHINGTON – Civil rights groups, politicians and business leaders offered condolences for the daughter of the lead plaintiff in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case which outlawed segregation in public schools.

“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,” NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Defense Fund President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement on Monday. “She stands as an example of how ordinary schoolchildren took center stage in transforming this country.”

Brown died Monday at age 75.  In 1951, her father, Oliver Brown, led 12 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Topeka, Kansas school board. The suit was filed after Linda and 19 other children were denied access to the city’s public schools because they were not white. She said she wanted to attend the school because the school where blacks were required to go was two miles from her home and too far and too cold to walk.

The Brown case merged with other suits challenging school segregation. Three years later the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and therefore was unconstitutional.

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.

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News