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Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1945-1990 (Kansas_Benchmark 3) - Brown v. Board (Indicator 1) - Plaintiffs in the court cases

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Airmail Special Letter: Robert Carter to Mckinley Burnett

Airmail Special Letter: Robert Carter to Mckinley Burnett
Date: March 31, 1953
Attorney Robert Carter acknowledges receipt of a copy of a letter from McKinley Burnett sent with an enclosed memo from Superintendent of Topeka Schools, Kenneth McFarland. Carter advises Burnett that if the McFarland proceeds in this (possible dismissal of Negro teachers) he would immediately initiate a court action. Carter further advises that he would be in Des Moines and that he would be happy to meet any teachers who have received "these notices."


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.


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.


Elisha J. Scott

Elisha J. Scott
Date: Between 1950 and 1959
Elisha J. Scott, 1890-1963, was raised in Topeka's Tennesseetown. As a youth, he possessed a strong drive and a quick wit, which attracted the eye of prominent Topeka minister Charles M. Sheldon. With financial support from Sheldon and his own abilities to succeed, Scott earned his law degree from Washburn College in 1916. During his long career as an attorney, he argued many civil rights and school segregation cases throughout Kansas and the Midwest. Two of Scott's sons, John and Charles, joined him in his law firm of Scott, Scott, Scott, and Jackson. Together they helped to prosecute, at the local level, the landmark civil rights case of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.


Lucinda Todd to Walter White

Lucinda Todd to Walter White
Creator: Todd, Lucinda Wilson, 1903-1996
Date: August 29, 1950
First Letter from the Lucinda Todd, of the Topeka Chapter of the NAACP, to NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White. In the letter, Todd outlines the problems in Topeka and the fact that the Topeka Chapter of the NAACP wants to test the limits of Kansas law regarding segregated schools. The letter eventually led to the involvement of the NAACP and the arrival of the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and Executive team to the Todd home in Topeka for Brown case strategy sessions.


Maurita Davis interview

Maurita Davis interview
Creator: Davis, Maurita
Date: July 15, 1994
Maurita (Burnett) Davis was born October 8, 1923, in Topeka, Kansas, to her mother Lena Jones Burnett and her father McKinley Burnett. She attended the segregated Monroe school for eight years before she entered the integrated Crane Junior High. Her interview focuses on her experiences with racial discrimination, her time at Monroe, and her father's work in the NAACP. In 1948 her father became president of the Topeka NAACP, and he would later organize members of the NAACP to challenge the segregation of public schools at the primary level (secondary schools were already integrated). These dedicated citizens would become plaintiffs in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The interview was conducted by Jean VanDelinder.


School segregation banned

School segregation banned
Creator: Topeka State Journal Company
Date: May 17, 1954
The front page of this issue of the Topeka State Journal includes several articles related to the desegregation of schools as mandated by the Supreme Court ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education court case. This court case was composed of five cases from the states of South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Kansas. These cases were grouped together under the name of the lead plaintiff in the Kansas case, Oliver Brown. The article titled "Supreme Court Refutes Doctrine of Separate but Equal Education" includes excerpts from the text of the Supreme Court's ruling. The article titled "Court Ruling Hailed: Segregation Already Ending Here, Say School Officials," addresses how the Topeka Board of Education had already begun integrating its elementary schools (at this time both junior high and high schools in Topeka were already integrated). The article "Summary of Court's Segregation Ruling" provides a brief synopsis of Chief Justice Earl Warren's ruling.


Speech, Des Moines, Iowa

Speech, Des Moines, Iowa
Creator: Todd, Lucinda Wilson, 1903-1996
Date: 1953
Lucinda Todd made this speech in Des Moines, Iowa, on the background of the Brown v. Board segregation case. The primary goal of the speech was to raise funds for the attorneys fees required to take the case to the Supreme Court. The speech also provides an excellent recounting of the issues that spawned the Brown case, including the Topeka, Kansas, African-American community's problems with Superintendent Dr. Kenneth McFarland and, Director of Negro Schools, Harrison Caldwell.


Sumner Grade School, Topeka

Sumner Grade School, Topeka
Creator: Schrock, John Edward
Date: Between 1950 and 1969
Sumner Grade School was a segregated school for whites only that played a prominent role in the desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education. Oliver Brown, an African American and the lead plaintiff in this court case, believed that his daughter should be allowed to attend Sumner School, which was only four blocks from their house. Instead, due to her race, his daughter was required to attend the Monroe School for black children located across town. Sumner was one of eighteen schools for white children located in Topeka during the first half of the twentieth century. In 1987 this building was designated a National Historical Landmark and it is not longer in operation.


Vivian Scales interview

Vivian Scales interview
Creator: Scales, Vivian M.
Date: October 30, 1991
Vivian Scales was born March 11, 1922, in Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas, where she attended an integrated grade school. After her family moved to Topeka she became a student at the segregated McKinley Elementary, which was an adjustment for her and her siblings. She later attended Curtis Junior High and Topeka High School. Her interview discusses how extracurricular activities at Topeka High were segregated on the basis of race. After she married and started a family she joined the Topeka chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where she became a plaintiff in the Brown v. Board case that called for the desegregation of Topeka grade schools. Scales had attempted to enroll her daughter, Ruth Ann, in fourth grade at Parkdale Elementary, which was only two blocks from their home. Her request was denied. Ruth Ann had attended the segregated Washington and Monroe Elementary schools, which were both located far from the Scales' home. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional. The interview was conducted by Jean VanDelinder.


Walter White to Lucinda Todd

Walter White to Lucinda Todd
Creator: White, Walter Francis, 1893-1955
Date: September 13, 1950
This Letter mentions the receipt of Todd's letter of August 29, 1950, about the situation in Topeka's elementary schools. White mentioned that he would immediately refer the letter to his legal department and said that Todd should expect to hear from him shortly.


Showing 1 - 11

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