Honoring The Life Of Linda Brown

By: Inés Eisenhour ’19

On March 25, Linda Brown died in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas at the age of 76. Her name is immortalized in the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case of 1954. As an elementary school student, she walked across railroad tracks and took a bus despite the nice school only four blocks away from her house. She was barred from enrolling in the Sumner School due to segregation laws, the well-known “separate but equal” legislature instituted by the 1896 decision of Plessy v. Ferguson. Her father sued the Board of Education of Topeka, the case ultimately combining with four others of the same nature, making its way to the Supreme Court where the ruling was made in favor of the plaintiffs. After the historic case, Ms. Brown continued to honor her father’s legacy through impassioned speeches and work as an educational consultant.

Ms. Brown’s family did not offer a comment, but Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer paid tribute to the girl who changed the course of United States History: “Sixty-four years ago a young girl from Topeka brought a case that ended segregation in public schools in America,” he tweeted. “Linda Brown’s life reminds us that sometimes the most unlikely people can have an incredible impact and that by serving our community we can truly change the world.”

Image courtesy of Recreation.gov.