Linda Brown, who was one of the young students at the heart of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, passed away today at age 75. Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel at NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:
“Linda Brown is one of that special 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. Brown v. Board of Education is the most important, transformational Supreme Court decision of the 20th century. The life of every American has been touched by Linda Brown. This country is indebted to her, the Brown family, and the many other families involved in the cases that successfully challenged school segregation. I mourn her passing and extend my deepest condolences to the entire Brown family.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.