Brown V Board

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Facts of the case

  • Linda Brown was a 3rd grade African American girl growing up in Topeka, KS
  • The Topeka board of education practiced segregation of schools between whites and blacks
  • Linda Brown was seven blocks away from an all-white school called Sumner
  • She did not go there, she went to an all-black school called Monroe
  • Monroe was more than twenty blocks away from Monroe and had to take a bus
  • To get to the bus she had to walk through a railyard
  • To get to Sumner school she did not have to walk through the railyard she could simply keep walking down the street
  • Kansas Law permits (but does not require) cities with more than 15,000 residents to segregate public schools
  • Linda Brown wanted to go to Sumner school so she applied
  • She was subsequently rejected
  • She (or rather her parents) sued the Topeka board of education for the right to go to school at Sumner under the equal protection clause of fourteenth amendment:No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
  • Her lawsuit went all the way to the US Supreme Court
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