Linda Brown, Central Figure In School Segregation Case Brown Vs. Board of Education, Dies

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Her sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson, founding president of The Brown Foundation, confirmed the death to The Topeka Capital-Journal. She declined comment from the family.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel at NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., said in a statement that Linda Brown is one of a band of heroic young people who, along with her family, courageously fought to end the ultimate symbol of white supremacy — racial segregation in public schools.

“She stands as an example of how ordinary schoolchildren took center stage in transforming this country. It was not easy for her or her family, but her sacrifice broke barriers and changed the meaning of equality in this country,” Ifill said in a statement.

The NAACP’s legal arm brought the lawsuit to challenge segregation in public schools before the Supreme Court, and Brown’s father, Oliver Brown, became lead plaintiff.

Several black families in Topeka were turned down when they tried to enroll their children in white schools near their homes. The lawsuit was joined with cases from Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that separating black and white children was unconstitutional because it denied black children the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. “In the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote. “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

The Brown decision overturned the court’s Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which on May 18, 1896, established a “separate but equal” doctrine for blacks in public facilities.

“Sixty-four years ago, a young girl from Topeka, Kansas sparked a case that ended segregation in public schools in America,” Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer said in a statement. “Linda Brown’s life reminds us that by standing up for our principles and serving our communities we can truly change the world. Linda’s legacy is a crucial part of the American story and continues to inspire the millions who have realized the American dream because of her.”

Brown v. Board was a historic marker in the civil rights movement, likely the most high-profile case brought by Thurgood Marshall and the lawyers of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in their decade-plus campaign to chip away at the doctrine of “separate but equal.”

“Her legacy is not only here but nationwide,” Kansas Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis said.

Oliver Brown, for whom the case was named, became a minister at a church in Springfield, Missouri. He died of a heart attack in 1961. Linda Brown and her sister founded in 1988 the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research.

The foundation says on its webpage that it was established as a living tribute to the attorneys, community organizers and plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court decision. Its mission is to build upon their work and keep the ideals of the decision relevant for future generations.

“We are to be grateful for the family that stood up for what is right,” said Democratic state Rep. Annie Kuether of Topeka. “That made a difference to the rest of the world.”

Mary J. Blige’s first animated role and she’s a bada** yall!

Just weeks after the entertainment icon made Academy Award history as the first person to ever be nominated in both acting and songwriting categories in the same year, fans are now getting a sneak peek at her first animated film role. In the movie, titled Sherlock Gnomes, Blige lends her voice and parts of her likeness to the character of Irene, aka Sherlock’s fiery former girlfriend whom he calls upon for help after his investigation hits a snag.

Blige joins an all-star cast for the film, which includes Johnny Depp, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maggie Smith, Stephen Merchant, Ozzy Osbourne, James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. 

Check out the trailer:

Amy Deanna becomes a Cover Girl Model with Vitiligo.

Amy Deanna was only 18-years-old when she was diagnosed with the vitiligo skin condition. On the “Today Show” she talked about accepting the skin she’s in. Before becoming the Cover Girl’s first ever vitiligo model, Deanna didn’t always feel so secure about her skin condition. She spoke about how she tried to hide the discoloration by covering up with make-up.” She continued, “the first time I covered myself completely, I felt like “wow.” I forgot what I looked like after having vitiligo for so long.” Deanna was very grateful for the opportunity to be a Cover Girl. She said, “I’m still in shock to be working with Cover Girl..it’s such a blessing.” Check out her story!

Serena Williams on the Come Back!

That’s right yall, she’s on her way back but there was a little blip on her screen. She had to knock her big sister out the box and Ms. Venus wasn’t having it. Ms. Venus who is in the worlds top 10 right now, beat her little sister 6-3, 6-4 in the 3rd round and that bad boy took 1 1/2 hours, so neither one of these girls are slacking, and we have to give Serena credit for getting back on that court after having a baby at 37 which couldn’t have been easy for her.

Way to go Serena, we know you’ve got more to show us. One baby don’t stop no show! Go SERENA and congrats on your new bundle.