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

Creator: Hansen, Chris
Date: October 5, 1992

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Chris Hansen interview - Title Page

This is one of the few sources that discusses the re-opening of the Brown case in the 1980s. As such, it is particularly useful as a discussion starter about how the Topeka school district is perceived today and how the law (more generally speaking) is constantly being reinterpreted and reevaluated. It could be paired with the two newspaper articles from the Capital-Journal that discuss this case.

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

Item Number: 211841
Call Number: Brown v. Board Oral History Coll. 251, Box 1, Folder 22
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 211841

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