Linda Brown, the little-remembered giant of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v Board of Education decision, has died in Topeka, Kansas, at the too-soon age of 75.
In 1953, Ms. Brown’s father, Oliver Brown, attempted to enroll 9 year old Linda in an all-White elementary school The school refused her. Mr. Brown sued.
And, in May of 1954 the Supreme Court ruled – in far more eloquent language than I am using – that “separate but equal” was a pile of BS; that “separate but equal” all-Black schools were “inherently unequal”.
Would the ugly reality of race-specific schools – meaning the best for Whites and whatever was left for Blacks – have been removed without Brown v Board of Education?
I assume the answer would eventually be yes. But a) I don’t know that for certain and b) in any event every day it existed was a day too long.
I doubt that then-9 year old Linda Brown realized how important she was to the civil rights movement. But she, and everyone else, certainly knows now.
May she rest in peace.