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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Topeka in Shawnee County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Standing Up for Their Rights

 
 
Standing Up for Their Rights Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 15, 2015
1. Standing Up for Their Rights Marker
Inscription.

The Topeka chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recruited 13 African American parents to file a lawsuit contesting the state law that allowed cities like Topeka to segregate students in elementary grades. Although the NAACP lost the case in US District Court in 1951, they appealed to the US Supreme Court and joined four other lawsuits from three other states and the District of Columbia challenging legal segregation in the nation's public schools.

The Topeka families who stood together in the early 1950s are remembered today for their part in the legal decision that outlawed segregation in public education and which set a precedent for ending other forms of segregation.

As a child I went through an integrated school [system in Oakley, Kansas]... I had good friends... There was no problem. but when I came to Topeka my children had to go to a separate school for black students clear across town... And I resented that. I knew that's where they learned to play and understand and meet the other races - all races. They get to know one another before they're taught otherwise. And that's why I was happy to be a plaintiff in Brown versus Board of Education.
- Zelma Henderson, pictured here with other plaintiffs, standing to the far left behind her two children, Vicki and Donald.

Inset Photo on Standing Up for Their Rights Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, 1949
2. Inset Photo on Standing Up for Their Rights Marker
[Caption reads] Linda Brown, a kindergarten student at Monroe School when this photo was taken in 1949, became the best-known pupil associated with the Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit.

 
Erected 2014 by National Park Service.
 
Location. 39° 2.29′ N, 95° 40.567′ W. Marker is in Topeka, Kansas, in Shawnee County. Marker is on SE Monroe Street south of SE 15th Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1515 SE Monroe Street, Topeka KS 66612, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pillars of the Community (here, next to this marker); A Playground and Community Center (a few steps from this marker); Monroe School (within shouting distance of this marker); How to Heat and Cool an Old School (within shouting distance of this marker); Monroe School Neighborhood (within shouting distance of this marker); A Turning Point for Equality (within shouting distance of this marker); A "Separate But Equal" School? (within shouting distance of this marker); G.A.R. Memorial Building (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Topeka.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. (Submitted on March 12, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Photo on Marker: The Plaintiffs image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 15, 2015
3. Photo on Marker: The Plaintiffs

2. History of Brown v. Board of Education. (Submitted on March 12, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Landmark Cases: Brown v. Board of Education (1954). (Submitted on March 12, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. African American Topeka. (Submitted on March 12, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducationPolitics
 
Standing Up for Their Rights Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 15, 2015
4. Standing Up for Their Rights Marker
Standing Up for Their Rights Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 15, 2015
5. Standing Up for Their Rights Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 12, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 183 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 12, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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