In 1950, Linda Brown was a third grader living in Topeka, Kansas. In that year, her family became involved in one of the nation's most famous court cases, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Because she was African American, Linda Brown was forced to walk a long distance to catch a bus that took her to a school even farther away. She was not allowed to attend the elementary school that was only a few blocks from her home. Only white children could attend that school. Like Linda Brown, African American children around the country had to attend different schools from white children. Separating students because of their race is a form of segregation. Segregation is the separation of people based on race or religion.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
     The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) found 13 families from 4 different states who agreed to help fight segregation. The Brown family was one of those families. Linda Brown's father was the Reverend Oliver Leon Brown. He is the Brown named in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Although 13 families were involved in the case, only Brown's name was listed because it came first alphabetically. The plan was for each family to try to sign its children up to attend an all-white school. As expected, Linda Brown and the other children were refused admission. The refusals were then used as evidence, or proof, in what became a class-action lawsuit. A class-action lawsuit is one in which many people take part together.
     Linda Brown is now married and known as Linda Brown Thompson. She and her sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson, give talks at colleges and other locations. They share their civil rights experiences before, during, and after the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case. They want others to know how important the case was. The sisters are able to put a personal touch on the historical case. Their work is also carried out through the Brown Foundation for Educational Equality, Excellence, and Research. They hope to motivate people to work toward making life better for others.

Brown Foundation for Educational Equality, Excellence, and Research