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StoryCorps: Legacy of Brown v. Board in Topeka (Katherine Sawyer & Kelsie Gonzalez)

Kelsie Gonzalez (left) interviews her grandmother, Katherine Sawyer, about growing up in segregated Topeka.  Sawyer was just 10 years old when she testified in a Topeka courtroom, during an early legal challenge to school segregation.  Her testimony and the testimony of others set the stage for what would later become the consolidated case of "Brown v. Topeka Board of Education."

As part of last year's 60th anniversary of "Brown versus Topeka Board of Education," the Kansas Humanities Council sponsored a local StoryCorps project, where area residents shared their memories about growing up in the shadow of segregation. Today, we hear from Katherine Sawyer, as she's interviewed by her granddaughter, Kelsie Gonzalez. Katherine Sawyer was just 10 years old when she testified in court that she should be allowed to attend the all-white elementary school in her own Topeka neighborhood, instead of taking a long bus ride to an all-black school more than 20 blocks away.  


That's Katherine Sawyer, who was just 10 years old when she testified in court during one of the early legal challenges to Topeka's segregated elementary schools. She was interviewed by her granddaughter, Kelsie Gonzalez. The two women took part in a StoryCorps project last year, marking the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board ruling.

The project was sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council with help from the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and the Brown v. Board National Historic Site.

Click HERE to listen to the StoryCorps pieces that have aired so far.
 

StoryCorps: Legacy of Brown v. Board in Topeka (Katherine Sawyer & Kelsie Gonzalez)

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