Linda Brown, Center of Brown v. Board of Education, Dead at 76

Schoolgirl At Heart Of Landmark US Desegregation Ruling Dead At 76

The decision in Linda Brown's case is considered to mark the dawn of modern US civil rights

The most famous Supreme Court case in American history bore Brown Thompson's last name nearly by chance.

The girl whose case ended segregation in America's public schools has died.

Though segregation was illegal in schools after the Brown v Board ruling, it nonetheless continued because of opposition from racists as well as due to the prevalence of separate black and white neighborhoods, which led to de facto segregation in local schools. The justices agreed that it denied 14th Amendment guarantees of equal protection under the law. "The life of every American has been touched by Linda Brown".

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.

In the same interview, Brown's mother, Leola Brown, said she and her husband tried their best to help their daughter understand why she wasn't allowed in the school. The school's refusal to accept her led her father to meet with the NAACP.

"Sometimes it's a hassle", she told The Herald, "but it's still an honor".

The ground-breaking case began after several black families in Topeka were turned down when they tried to enroll their children in white schools near their homes.

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

The school was at the time all-white and refused admission to every non-white who applied for admission.

Brown never got the chance to attend Sumner. "May she rest in power", said the Congressional Black Caucus.

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The court had ruled against segregation in a unanimous decision.

President Dwight D Eisenhower deployed American soldiers when the Arkansas governor blocked African-American students from being integrated into an all-white high school in the state's capital Little Rock in 1957.

Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel of Topeka confirmed that Linda Brown died Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Linda Brown was born on February 20, 1943, in Topeka to Leola and Oliver Brown.

"Obviously Sumner is a better school than Monroe; a more up-to-date school, a newer school, as I have indicated", James Buchanan, the acting head of the state's board of education, told a lower federal court. Rogers then approved a desegregation plan for Topeka Unified School District 501 in 1993.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer comments on Brown's life and legacy.

"Linda Brown is one of that special brand of heroic young people who, along with her family, courageously fought to end the ultimate symbol of white supremacy - racial segregation in public schools", said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She later worked as an educational consultant and public speaker.

California Senator Kamala Harris echoed this, sending her condolences to Brown's family.

As a mother of two children who had attended racially diverse schools, she said, "By them going to an integrated school, they are advancing much more rapidly than I was at the age that they are now".

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