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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Government and Politics - Reform and Protest - Civil rights - American Civil Liberties Union

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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.


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.


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.


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