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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 8 months ago

"My Congregation! We as the African American community have just had a huge victory! Our children will now receive the same education and go to the same schools as white children. Our schools have been desegregated!" I, Reverend Lisa Jones, said this to my congregation shortly after May 17, 1954. This was the day that Chief Justice Earl Warren declared the court desicion to desegregate schools all across America. I can still remember the faces of my congregation, mouths fell open in astonishment, there were gasps of surprise and wonder from the children, and there were even some tears of parents who would see their children possibly go to college. I knew that because of Oliver Brown's troubles our children would legally be able to go to white schools, but it would take time for the white population to adjust to this new law. Our children probably would be shunned at school, it would all take time.


Yes, it would take time, but it would be so worth it, I thought as I tried to write my next sermon. It would take time, but not so much that we got discouraged. In 1954 civil rights was on a role. We had so much going for us. We had people like Oliver Brown willing to fight so his daughter could have a better education. We had the NAACP to help us, and we had just won a major victory! There would be equal schooling for all. This is so important to me and my family because we live in Topeka, Kansas where it all started.This is what happened those three long years ago. This whole case was started because Linda Brown had to walk a mile to school through a train yard, instead of seven blocks, because her skin was not the same color as the the children who attended Sumner School.


As any parent would Oliver Brown tried to enroll Linda in Sumner School, but because she was black she was denied the opportunity to go to this school. Our town was outraged, Linda was eight she should not have to walk ten miles a week just to get to school and back. This could not go on, it was decided something had to be done. This wasn't freedom. We may have had life and the pursuit of happiness, but there was not much liberty. We, as a town decided it was the last straw, we would no longer live unconstitutional lives. Oliver Brown was the man that put things into action. His case would be the right one at the right time, to get the NAACP to help.


In 1951 Oliver Brown asked McKinley Burnett,head of the NAACP to help desegregate schools. Thank goodness for us he was all for the plan. The NAACP had wanted to do something about segregated schools for quite some time, they now had what they needed to start the case. The district court for Kansas heard the plea that segregated schools made black children feel inferior to white children on June 25-26, 1954. I remember when I was a child I couldn't understand why I had to go to adifferent school than the white children. My mother explained it was because I was black. I was shocked and I didn't feel so good about myself, as any child would. " Seperate but Equal" sends children the wrong message, this needed to be changed.


The court said this prepared children for later life. Well later life doesn't have to be like this, everything should be equal. The case was taken to the Supreme Court, and heard on December 9, 1952. The court did not reach a desicion. On December 7-8, 1953 the case was again heard in the Supreme Court. It was requested that both sides of the case discuss the circumstances of desegregating schools. Basically the court was beating around the bush, they were the ones who would make the final decision. Finally on May 17, 1954 it was announced that schools in 21 states would become desegregated. Finally! We still had a long battle to fight, but this time victory was ours. Seperate but equal no longer applied to schools. We won!!!

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 5:05 pm on Apr 1, 2007

That's good, Isabelle!!!

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