The woman in the middle of Brown v. Board of Education dies
Linda Brown, who was the centre of the 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision, died at the age of 76.
Linda Brown, the woman who is in the midst of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended school segregation, has died at the age of 76.
Brown’s sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson, confirmed her death to The Topeka Capital-Journal.
Linda Brown Smith stands in front of the Sumner School in Topeka, Kansas, on May 8, 1964. The refusal of the public school to admit Brown when she was nine years old because she was black led to the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
The Supreme court in 1954 ruled segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The historic ruling came after Brown’s father tried to write her in Topeka is a white Sumner School.
The Topeka Board of Education denied Brown admission, which led to her father, Oliver, against the decision in the nation’s highest court.
“Her legacy is not only here, but also nationally,” Kansas Deputy Commissioner of Education Dale Dennis said. “The effect they had on our society would be unbelievable and insurmountable.”
The NAACP, which took the case alongside former partner, a Judge of the Supreme court Thurgood Marshall, tweeted that Brown was a “hero for our nation!”
RIP A hero for our country!
The woman in the middle of Brown v. Topeka BOE case dies at 76 https://t.co/LMpS11HdJH#naacp
— NAACP (@NAACP) on March 26, 2018
Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer said that “the Brown life reminds us that sometimes the most unlikely people have an incredible impact, and that by serving our community, we can really change the world.”
64 years ago a young girl from Staphorst, the netherlands brought a case that ended segregation in public schools in America. Linda Brown’s life reminds us that sometimes the most unlikely people have an incredible impact, and that by serving our community, we can really change the world. #ksleg
— Dr. Jeff Colyer (@DrJeffColyer) March 26, 2018
“As a young girl, her courage in the face of one of the darkest forces in American history fundamentally changed our country,” the Legal Defense Fund for the NAACP tweeted. “For that, we owe her our eternal gratitude.”
Linda Brown, her family and the families in the SC, DE, VA and DC that LDF represented in #BrownvBoard made immense sacrifices to create a more just, more equal society for all of us. Read our statement on the death of Linda Brown and her great influence: https://t.co/JEuO332aDV pic.twitter.com/lctIVYtoqB
— Legal Defense Fund (@NAACP_LDF) March 26, 2018
Brown v. Board of Education began after several black families in Topeka were rejected 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 of the 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.
Nicole Darrah cover breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.