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Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1945-1990 (Kansas_Benchmark 3) - Brown v. Board (Indicator 1) - Process of integration

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8,000 students affected, state officials see no trouble adjusting schools to new rule

8,000 students affected, state officials see no trouble adjusting schools to new rule
Creator: Topeka Journal
Date: May 17, 1954
This article discusses how the state of Kansas will work to conform to the ruling made in the Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17, 1954. The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that the segregation of schools based on race was unconstitutional. Many cities in Kansas, including Topeka, Atchison, Salina, Wichita, and Pittsburg were already working to integrate their schools. Topeka had an estimated 625 African American students who would be affected by the court's ruling, and the article lists the numbers for other cities and towns in the state.


Charles I. Baston interview

Charles I. Baston interview
Creator: Baston, Charles I.
Date: May 14, 1992
Charles Baston was born in Lee's Summit, Missouri, on April 24, 1917. He attended grade school and junior high school while still living in Lee's Summit, and after junior high he moved to Topeka to attend the Kansas Vocational Technical School. He moved to Topeka permanently after his World War II discharge. Baston was a member of the executive committee of the local chapter of the NAACP during the Brown v. Board hearings. Much of his interview deals with the NAACPs role in finding plaintiffs in the Brown case, the problem with busing students to segregated schools, and other individuals who were instrumental to the success of this suit. Towards the end of the interview he also talks about how the Brown decision has not reached its full potential because of the racial prejudices that still exist today. Jean VanDelinder conducted the interview. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service, and the Kansas Humanities Council. Parts of the interview may be difficult to hear due to the quality of the original recording.


Chris Hansen interview

Chris Hansen interview
Creator: Hansen, Chris
Date: October 5, 1992
Chris Hansen was an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, starting in 1973. In 1984, after the Brown v. Board desegregation case was reopened, Hansen served on the legal team working on this case. The ACLU was representing 17 children and their parents who claimed that the Topeka USD501 district had not fully complied with the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring segregated schools unconstitutional. The case went before the Federal District Court in October 1986, and four years later after an appeal, the court ruled in favor of the petitioners, stating that Topeka Public Schools had not fully complied with the court decision to desegregate. Hansen's interview discusses his involvement in the case, the plaintiffs (including Linda Brown Smith) and his experiences in Topeka. The interview was conducted by Jean VanDelinder. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service, and the Kansas Humanities Council.


Christina Jackson interview

Christina Jackson interview
Creator: Jackson, Christina
Date: September 20, 1991
Christina Jackson was born on August 15, 1926, in Topeka, Kansas, to Georgia and Jess Edwards. In this interview, Jackson speaks about her experiences at the segregated Washington Elementary School and then at the integrated East Topeka Junior High and Topeka High School. According to Jackson, Washington had very strict teachers who emphasized the importance of learning about African American history. Her children attended Monroe School and, after desegregation, moved to State Street School, which had formerly been a school for white children only. Her children recalled that the faculty at State Street worked hard to integrate the black students, who were for the most part accepted by their peers. It was not until her children entered Holliday Junior High that they struggled with racial discrimination and derogatory comments. Jackson also discusses her work experiences and involvement in social clubs and volunteer organizations. This interview was conducted by Jean VanDelinder and Ralph Crowder. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service and the Kansas Humanities Council. Parts of the interview may be difficult to hear due to the quality of the original recording.


Discrimination persists, Smith says

Discrimination persists, Smith says
Creator: Knudsen, Gwyn
Date: October 15, 1986
This article in the Topeka Capital-Journal focuses on Linda Brown Smith who, along with her father Oliver Brown, were plaintiffs in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education. Linda Smith had recently testified in a federal court about her experiences attended segregated schools in Topeka, including the Monroe school. Smith was called to the stand as a witness in a re-hearing of the Brown v. Board case to determine whether or not there were still some elements of institutional racial segregation in the Topeka school system. Smith, a plaintiff in the re-opened case, believed that racial discrimination still existed in the schools.


Five of state's first-class cities end school segregation

Five of state's first-class cities end school segregation
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: December 4, 1955
This article describes how Kansas schools had begun?and in some cases completed?the process of desegregation after the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board declared that segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional. Lawrence, Salina, and Atchison had completed integration, while Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka were still in the process of implementing their plans. In some cases the integration plans were attacked; for instance, in Topeka, students were allowed to continue attending their old school through the sixth grade, a move that some believed was simply reinforcing segregation. Prior to the Brown decision in 1954, only cities with populations over 15,000 ("first-class" cities) were allowed to have segregated grade schools, and some towns, like Pittsburg, had abolished segregated schools before the Brown case.


Fred Rausch Jr. interview

Fred Rausch Jr. interview
Creator: Rausch, Fred
Date: October 12, 1994
Fred Rausch, Jr. grew up in East Topeka and attended Parkdale Elementary School, Lincoln Junior High, and East Topeka Junior High. Rausch was elected to the Topeka School Board in 1957, shortly after the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision that declared segregated educational facilities unconstitutional. He was partially responsible for the integration of teachers. When the school board attempted to place African American teachers in positions at formerly white schools they encountered harsh opposition from both white and black parents. He recalls that this furor died down after a few years. Rausch also discusses how the school districts were rearranged so that children attended a grade school that was no more than six blocks from their home, although he vehemently maintains that the school board never gerrymandered districts for racial purposes. While he admits that, sociologically, integration may have improved students' feelings of self-worth, he is not convinced that integration has improved students' learning abilities and overall education. Rausch left the Topeka Board of Education two years before the Brown case was reopened in 1979. Cheryl Brown Henderson conducted the interview. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service and the Kansas Humanities Council. Parts of the interview may be difficult to hear due to the quality of the original recording.


Jean Price interview

Jean Price interview
Creator: Price, Jean
Date: February 12, 1992
Jean (Scott) Price was born in Wichita, Kansas, on June 16, 1929, and attended segregated schools from the first through eighth grades. She then attended the integrated North High School. For a short time she lived in Kansas City, Kansas and attended the segregated Sumner High School. She graduated from North High School in Wichita and later on from Wichita University (now Wichita State University) with a degree in teaching. She also received her master's in education from Emporia State. After moving to Topeka in 1956, Price accepted a job at the Parkdale School where she was the only teacher of African-American descent. After the Supreme Court declared segregated schools unconstitutional in 1954, Parkdale became integrated. She also taught at the Lowman Hill School. According to her interview, she generally got along well with her students' parents and school officials, even though some were opposed to desegregation. The interview was conducted by Jean VanDelinder.


Major problem in Kansas--negro teachers hit by desegregation

Major problem in Kansas--negro teachers hit by desegregation
Creator: Murphy, Anna Mary
Date: January 29, 1956
This article describes how the desegregation of schools in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education case would affect black schoolteachers across Kansas. The author gives the example of Topeka where, when the school board began desegregating schools prior to the final decision in the Brown case, black teachers lost their jobs. Although the school board wanted to "avoid any disruption of the professional life of career teachers," many schools were hesitant to place black teachers in classrooms containing both white and black students. Members of the black community who had opposed the Brown v. Board case at the local level had feared that integration would apply only to students, not to teachers, and it appeared to some that this would in fact be the case.


National spotlight again on Topeka as Brown case reopens

National spotlight again on Topeka as Brown case reopens
Creator: Knudsen, Gwyn
Date: October 5, 1986
According to this article, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged that Topeka USD501 had not fully complied with the Supreme Court ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education case (1954), which had declared segregated schools unconstitutional. The ACLU was representing 17 children who had attended USD501 schools in 1979 and claimed that some public schools had a serious racial imbalance that the school board had failed to address. The article also discusses how the original Brown decision has evolved and been reinterpreted since 1954. In April 1987 the judge would rule that the Topeka school district had removed all traces of racial segregation, although the plaintiffs would appeal this decision at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.


Paul E. Wilson to T. Justin Moore

Paul E. Wilson to T. Justin Moore
Creator: Wilson, Paul E
Date: June 10, 1953
In this letter, assistant attorney general Paul Wilson responded to T. Justin Moore's query about the desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Wilson writes that he is not fully informed of the current situation in Topeka, but that he believes the school board is beginning the integration process in anticipation of the court's ruling that segregation is unconstitutional. He also mentioned that some contracts for African-American teachers had not been renewed because the board felt that many white parents would not want their children to be taught by black teachers. Wilson was a defense attorney for the Topeka school board and he argued their case before the Supreme Court. On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren handed down the ruling that segregated educational facilities were indeed unconstitutional.


School board votes end to Topeka segregation, move urged "as soon as practicable"

School board votes end to Topeka segregation, move urged "as soon as practicable"
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: September 4, 1953
This brief article describes the Topeka Board of Education's decision to desegregate elementary schools (junior high and high schools were already integrated). It also mentions that the board approved the bus contract that transported African American students to segregated schools across town. At this time there were only four black elementary schools in Topeka, so some students had to travel great distances to attend school. This decision was made while the court case Brown v. Board of Education was still pending a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 17, 1954 the Supreme Court would rule that segregated schools were unconstitutional and must be integrated "with all deliberate speed."


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