Brown vs Board of Education

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Brown v. Board of Education American parents challenged the system of education in the United States which mandated separate schools for their children based solely on race. In Kansas alone there were eleven school integration cases dating from 1881 to 1949, prior to Brown in 1954. In many instances the schools for African American children were substandard facilities with out-of-date textbooks and often no basic school supplies. What was not in question was the dedication and qualifications of the African American teachers and principals assigned to these schools. In response to numerous unsuccessful attempts to ensure equal opportunities for all children, African American community leaders and organizations across the country stepped up efforts to change the educational system. In 1950 members of the Topeka, Kansas, Chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) agreed to again challenge the "separate but equal" doctrine governing public education. The strategy was conceived by the chapter president, McKinley Burnett, and the law firm of Scott, Scott, Scott and Jackson. For a period of two years Mr. Burnett had attempted to persuade Topeka school officials to integrate their schools. This law suit was a final attempt. The plan involved enlisting the support of fellow NAACP members and personal friends as plaintiffs in what would be a class action suit filed against the Board of Education of Topeka Public Schools. A group of thirteen parents agreed to participate on behalf of their children (twenty children). They came up with a plan, each plaintiff was to watch the paper for enrollment dates and take their child to the school for white children that was nearest to their home. Once they attempted enrollment and the application denied they were

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