Gibbs v. Broome, et al. / 1931 Courthouse
Location: 27 Courthouse Square
— Rockville's African American Heritage Walking Tour —
William B. Gibbs, Jr., teacher and principal of the Rockville Colored Elementary School, thought black educators should receive the same pay as white educators, but he had to take the issue to court.
African-American teachers had to meet the same qualification as their white peers but received only half the salary. Gibbs petitioned the Board of Education for equal pay, but the board denied his petition. Gibbs filed suit in Montgomery County Circuit Court in 1936.
Gibbs was represented by NAACP attorneys Thurgood Marshall (who became the nation's first African-American Supreme Court Justice) and Charles Houston (former vice dean of Howard University Law School), County Superintendent Edwin Broome convinced the school board to settle out of court, phasing in equal pay over a two-year period. The year after the case was filed, Gibbs was fired from the Montgomery County Public schools on a technicality, and he never taught in Maryland again.
Even though it set no legal precedent because it was settled out of court, Gibbs v. Broome had far-reaching impact. It was the first victory in equalizing pay and it served
Erected by City of Rockville, Historic District Commission, Department of Community Planning and Development Services. (Marker Number 2.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Education. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Rockville's African American Heritage Walking Tour series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1936.
Location. 39° 5.041′ N, 77° 9.098′ W. Marker is in Rockville, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Courthouse Square just west of Maryland Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24 Courthouse Sq, Rockville MD 20850, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Red Brick Courthouse (here, next to this marker); Montgomery County Court House (a few steps from this marker); Rockville (a few steps from this marker); Bicentennial of Maryland's Ratification of the Constitution (within shouting distance of this marker); 1891 Red Brick Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Court House Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock and His Men (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rockville.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Additional keywords. Jim Crow era; equal pay for equal work; segregation; segregated facilities
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.