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.

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