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Brown at 60

Brown at 60

Nettie and Nicki Hunt at Supreme Court

  • Welcome to the Brown at 60 observance
  • Learn more about Brown v. Board of Education.
    • Brown v. Board history with links to legal documents
    • National Archives educational documents about the case
    • Brown v. Board of Education timeline
    • Interesting facts about the case and the plaintiffs
  • Meet the legal minds behind Brown v Board of Education.
  • Listen to Jack Greenberg and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky in their own words.
  • Watch the impact of the Brown decision.
  • Read more on:

Brown at 60

LDF Celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Sherrilyn IfillMay 17th marks the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the constitutional moment that compelled our country to reckon with its history and confront the unfulfilled promise of equality first articulated in our founding documents.

Brown literally changed America. It is a mid-20th century course correction that ushered in a modern America that must grapple honestly with the promise of equality and opportunity for all of its citizens.  At its core Brown marks the beginning of the end of legal apartheid in this country.  This would be enough to celebrate. But Brown is also a powerful example of how change can happen and the important role that law plays in shaping the very character of our country ... (read Sherrilyn Ifill's full reflection).



Thurgood Marshall in front of U.S. Supreme Court

Brown itself was not a single case, but rather a coordinated group of five lawsuits against school districts in Kansas, South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Charles Hamilton Houston, one of the best lawyers of the 20th century, was chief architect of the strategy behind Brown v. Board of Education.

The Brown attorneys gather to discuss the cases.(L-R): Louis L. Redding (Gebhart v. Belton); Robert L. Carter (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka); Oliver W. Hill (Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County); Thurgood Marshall (NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund); Spottswood W. Robinson, III (Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County); Jack Greenberg (Gebbart v. Belton); James M. Nabrit, Jr. (Bolling v. Sharpe); and George E.C. Hayes (Bolling v. Sharpe). 

Harry Briggs, Jr. (far right) was a student whose parents led a protest leading to Briggs v. Elliot, one of the Brown cases

Students, led by Barbara Johns, who took part in a strike against inadequate schools in the African-American community in Prince Edward County, Virginia.

African-American students and their parents who were plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in Topeka, 1953. (L-R, front row): Vicki Henderson, Donald Henderson, Linda Brown, James Emanuel, Nancy Todd, and Katherine Carper; (L-R, back row): Zelma Henderson, Oliver Brown, Sadie Emanuel, Lucinda Todd, and Lena Carper.

A family of plaintiffs in Gebhart v. Belton, Delaware.

Plaintiffs in Briggs v. Elliott gather in St. Marks Church, South Carolina.

Spottswood Robinson III and Oliver W. Hill, Jr., attorneys for the plaintiffs in Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County and members of the Brown legal team.

Lining up on the Supreme Court steps to hear arguments in Brown v. Board of Education.

Thurgood Marshall and John W. Davis, who argued the case for South Carolina.

Brown attorneys George E.C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall and James M. Nabritt III on May 17, 1954, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Spottswood Bolling, 15, one of five children who were plaintiffs in Bolling v. Sharpe, reads about the Brown decision at home with his mother Sarah F. Bolling.

Nettie Hunt and her daughter Nickie sit on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court after the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.


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