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Brown vs. Topeka Board of Educationright

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Brown v. Board


     These are the names of the 12 parents who thought they would change their history forever:


  • Mrs. Darlene Brown for her daughter.
  • Mrs. Lena Carper for her daughter.
  • Mrs. Maryulrite Emmerson for her sons.
  • Mrs. Zelma Henderson for her son and daughter. 
  • Mrs. Maude Lawton for her daughters.
  • Mrs. Lucinda Todd for her daughter. 
  • Mr. Oliver L. Brown for his daughter.
  • Sadie Emmanuel for her sons.
  • Mrs. Shirley Fleming for her sons. 
  • Mrs. Shirley Hodison for her son.
  • Mrs. Alma Lewish for her children.
  • Mrs. Maude Lawton for her daughter. 
  • Mrs. Vivian Scales for her daughter.         

     Mr. Oliver L. Brown along with these 12  parents were becoming angry with the Topeka School systems. Mr. Brown had to watch his daughter walk 6 blocks then ride a bus 2 miles to her school. Many other parents had to go clear across town to take their kids to school.

     These 12 parents decided to use help form the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NAACP advised the parents to take their children to an all white school and try to enroll them. After all of the parents were denied they used that as a piece of  evidence against the Topeka School Systems. The NAACP argued that segregated schools were sending out a message that black children are inferior to white people. Therefore the schools were unequal. 

      The Board of Education defense was that, because segregation in Topeka pervaded many aspects of life, segregated schools simply prepared black children for the segregation they would face during adult hood. The board also argued segregated schools weren't necessarily harmful to black children; great African American such as Fredric Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver.

     They  appealed to the Supreme court on October 1, 1951. The separate but equal doctrine was appealed in the Plessy vs. Ferguson that stated that segregation didn't conflict with the 14th amendment as long as separate facilities for black people were equal to that of white people.  Febuary1951-- Topeka lawyers John Clarks and Elisha Scott filed suite on behalf of Rev.  Oliver Brown and 12 other black parents in a federal court district in Topeka.  Linda Brown who was selected to represent the class action suite wanted to attend Sumner Elementary, which was only five blocks away.  Instead she was required to Monroe, an all black school, which was twenty blocks from her home.  The United States Court in Topeka, following the Plessy vs.  Ferguson ruled schools attended by black children in Topeka were equal by all means of respect to those who attend white children.  The use was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. 
     One of the expert witnesses Dr. Hugh Speer, chairman of the department of education at The University of Kansas, argued,

"If colored people were denied in school  of associating with white children who represent 90% of our national society in which these colored children must  live, then the colored child's curriculum is being greatly curtailed. The Topeka curriculum or any school curriculum can't be equal under segregation."

     Some of these such court cases have been held since the 1950's in the states of Delaware, South Carolina, and the District of Colombia.


Randal McCune

Christopher Seele

Zach Robb  


Brown v. Board of Education.<http://www.nationalcenter.org/brown.html>

CJ Online <http://cjonline.com/stories/101998/com_browntimeline.shtml>
Brown v. Board of Education.<http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/early-civilrights/brown.html>
Brown vs. Board of Education. <http://usemdassy.state.gov/kingston/wwwhp207.html
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. <http://www.tourolaw.edu/patch/Brown>
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. <http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/brown.html>

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Last Updated: April 21, 2014 |  Return to Top    

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