Famous Trials

Brown v Board of Education of Topeka Trial


(The trial that led to the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1954)

Segregated Topeka
Meet the Browns
      Carl Iwasaki/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
    Segregated Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, where Linda Brown attended school.
Court Documents
Trial Testimony
Judge Huxman's
Decision & Findings
From Plessy to Brown
The Brown v Board of Education Trial: An Account
by  Douglas Linder  (c) 2011  
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka is widely known as the Supreme Court decision that declared segregated schools to be "inherently unequal."  The story behind the case, including that of the 1951 trial in a Kansas courtroom, is much less known.   It begins sixty miles to the east of Topeka in the Kansas City suburb of Merriam, Kansas, where Esther Brown, a thirty-year-old white Jewish woman, became incensed at the local school board's reluctance to make modest repairs in  a dilapidated school for area black students, even while it passed a bond issue to construct a spanking new school for whites.  Eventually, Esther's empathy would cause her to push the state's NAACP chapter to launch a campaign to end segregation in Kansas schools--a campaign that would lead to victory on May 17, 1954 when a unanimous Supreme Court declared that the Topeka Board of Education's policy of segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution....[CONTINUED]
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 Notes of Justices
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1954 Decision
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