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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. This interview has a signed release for scholarly or educational purposes only.

Creator: Scales, Vivian M.
Date: October 30, 1991

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Vivian Scales interview Vivian Scales interview

This source provides the perspective of a plaintiff in the Brown case. It also provides useful information about the NAACP's strategy to build their case against the school board by encouraging NAACP members to attempt to enroll their children in a white school. It could be grouped with the other oral interviews of those associated with the Brown case, or it could be grouped with sources that discuss the NAACP (such as the newspaper article announcing Lucinda Todd and McKinley Burnett's reactions to the Brown decision).

KS:11th:3.1:Brown v. Board (2005)

Item Number: 211838
Call Number: Brown v. Board Oral History Coll. 251, Box 3, Folder 2
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 211838

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