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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."


Attorney Robert Carter to McKinley Burnett

Attorney Robert Carter to McKinley Burnett
Date: September 14, 1951
This letter dated September 14, 1951, is from NAACP Assistant Special Counsel Robert L. Carter to Topeka NAACP Chapter President McKinley Burnett. Carter advises Burnett that the National Chapter of the NAACP would require $5,000 to take the Brown case to the United States Supreme Court. However, Carter explained that the money would have to be raised locally and that nearby NAACP chapters could contribute if they so desired.


Charles E. Bledsoe to the NAACP Legal Department

Charles E. Bledsoe to the NAACP Legal Department
Creator: Bledsoe, Charles E.
Date: September 5, 1950
In the letter, Charles E. Bledsoe, attorney for the Topeka Chapter of the NAACP, outlines the general nature of Topeka's situation as influenced by local laws. In particular, Bledsoe refers to the Kansas Permissive Law of 1879 that allowed individual school districts to segregate schools if they so desired. However, the law did not mandate school segregation in Kansas. The response to this letter is Kansas Memory item #213410.


Citizens Committee on Civil Rights: The People, Fight Back

Citizens Committee on Civil Rights: The People, Fight Back
Date: 1948
This 1948 leaflet was created by the Citizens Committee on Civil Rights and used in conjunction with a citywide petition later rejected by the Topeka Board of Education. The Citizens Committee on Civil Rights was a group headquartered at the home of Lucinda Todd. The leaflet, circulated around Topeka's black community, requested funds to support the effort. Mrs. Todd and Mrs. Dan Sawyer walked the streets of Topeka to get the petition signed by almost every black household.


Coming Walter White

Coming Walter White
Date: 1949
This flyer announces the upcoming visit of NAACP executive secretary Walter White to Topeka on Tuesday, April 26, 8:15 p.m., Memorial Hall, 10th and Jackson. Under his leadership, the NAACP established the Legal Defense Fund, which helped fight segregation and disenfranchisement throughout the U.S.


For the Negro Press: Suit Hits Separate Schools in Kansas

For the Negro Press: Suit Hits Separate Schools in Kansas
Creator: Todd, Lucinda Wilson, 1903-1996
Date: 1951
Copy of Lucinda Todd's 1951 handwritten news release outlining the legal actions underway, explaining the causes, and listing the names of the attorneys filing the actions associated with the effort of several Topeka families to have their children attend white schools.


Letter to the Topeka Board of Education

Letter to the Topeka Board of Education
Creator: Sawyer, Daniel S.
Date: September 13, 1948
This is a carbon copy of a letter dated September 13, 1948, from Daniel S. Sawyer on behalf of the Citizens Committee for Civil Rights to the Topeka Board of Education. This lengthy letter outlined efforts in 1942 to make Superintendent McFarland aware of the concerns of the Topeka branch of the NAACP related to segregated elementary schools. It then discusses current conditions in the Topeka schools. In addition, the letter voices objections to the policies of Superintendent of Negro School, Harrison Caldwell, and Superintendent of Topeka Schools, Dr. Kenneth McFarland. It references a "supplement in regard to the achievements of Negroes" that was to be attached but was not included with this document.


Lucinda Todd: handwritten draft of the background of the Brown case

Lucinda Todd: handwritten draft of the background of the Brown case
Date: 1950
A handwritten draft by Lucinda Todd, on the case of Brown vs. The Board of Education. This case led to a landmark ruling by the United States Supreme Court that ended school segregation.


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.


NAACP Legal Defense Fund to Charles Bledsoe

NAACP Legal Defense Fund to Charles Bledsoe
Date: September 18, 1950
In his reply to Topekan attorney Charles Bledsoe, NAACP legal counsel Robert L. Carter outlined his initial thoughts on strategies and approaches to the case. Two of Carter's main points were that the Topeka NAACP should recruit "as many plaintiffs and their parents from various grades from the lowest to the highest," and that the case be tried in a three-judge court in order to "by-pass the U.S. Court of Appeals and go directly into the U.S. Supreme Court." The letter from Charles Bledsoe prompting this reply is Kansas Memory item #213409.


Nancy Jane Todd Noches

Nancy Jane Todd Noches
Date: 1950
This photograph shows Nancy Jane Todd Noches on the playground of Buchanan Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas. The daughter of Alvin and Lucinda Todd, her mother was the first parent to register as a plaintiff in the Brown v. Board of Education case. The suite asked the Topeka school district to verse their policy of racial segregation. The United State Supreme Court later "declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional."


Nancy Jane Todd Noches

Nancy Jane Todd Noches
Date: 1951
This photograph shows Nancy Jane Todd Noches during her school days in Topeka, Kansas. The daughter of Alvin and Lucinda Todd; her mother was the first parent to register as a plaintiff in the Brown v. Board of Education case. The suit asked the Topeka school district to reverse their policy of racial segregation. The United States Supreme Court later "declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional."


Robert Carter to Herbert Bell

Robert Carter to Herbert Bell
Date: September 14, 1951
Carter's letter to Bell can be used in conjunction with his letter to Burnett to help students appreciate the scale of the effort that preceded the Brown case's arrival at the U.S. Supreme Court.


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.


Walter White, Reverend E. Bernard Hurd, McKinley Burnett, and Arthur Capper

Walter White, Reverend E. Bernard Hurd, McKinley Burnett, and Arthur Capper
Creator: Topeka Daily Capital
Date: April 26-27, 1949
These two newspaper clippings relate to the visit of Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP, to Topeka. The first is a photograph showing Senator Arthur Capper, a member of the National Association for the Advancedment of Colored People (NAACP) board of directors (seated left); Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP (seated right); McKinley Burnett (standing left), Topeka NAACP president, and Reverend E. Bernard Hurd (standing right) of Calvary Baptist Church. At the time of the photograph, John Scott, chairman of the legal research committee, NAACP Topeka, was standing to the left of Mr. Burnett, but he is not visible in this clipping. The second clipping is an article about Walter White speaking on civil rights at the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall of the Memorial Building in Topeka, Kansas on Tuesday, April 26, 1949, which Senator Capper attended.


Walter White addressing audience at Memorial Hall

Walter White addressing audience at Memorial Hall
Creator: Lockhart, Monroe
Date: April 26, 1949
This photograph taken in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall of Topeka's Memorial Building, shows NAACP executive secretary Walter White addressing a crowd that included former Kansas Governor and Senator Arthur Capper, who was a member of the NAACP board of directors. During his presentation, which was part of his 10-day tour of five mid-Western states, White predicted the eventual end of segregation in the U.S.


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.


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