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StoryCorps Voices from Topeka - 60 Years After Brown v. Board of Education

The first grade class at State Street Elementary School, taught by Miss Hunt. It was taken in January 1955, shortly after Topeka elementary schools were racially integrated in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Prior to this decision, which made segregated schools unconstitutional, State Street had been a school for white children only. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /

In May 2014, StoryCorps Facilitators found themselves in Topeka, Kan., working with The Kansas Humanities Council for the 60th Anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case, whose decision was released on May 17, 1954.

The trip was part of the other many town-wide celebrations for the occasion, including a high school graduation ceremony with a special Baccalaureate speech delivered by First Lady Michelle Obama who also commemorated the anniversary.

The Kansas Humanities Council hosted three StoryCorps recording days to capture conversations between generations of Topekans, about their school and life experiences, how those have changed over time and how Topeka can grow from it all.

Kansas Public Radio began airing the series on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, with pieces airing at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. The series will continue every Monday morning (the series has been moved to Tuesday mornings, starting Feb. 24) on KPR's Morning Edition - and will run well into the month of March.

Listen to the StoryCorps pieces that have aired so far:

Dr. Beryl New & DaJaia James - Feb. 2

Patrick Woods & Richard Ridley - Feb. 9

Jack Alexander & Darlene Wilson-Jackson - Feb. 16

Tom Averill & Matthew Porubsky - Feb. 24

Joyce Revely & Eric McHenry - March 3

Carol & Susan Christensen - March 10

Tobias Schlingensiepen & Tracy Hicks - March 17

Bill Bunten & Jack Alexander - March 24

J.B. Bauersfeld & Dale Cushinberry - April 21

Katherine Sawyer & Kelsie Gonzalez - April 28

Michael Hooper & Sherman Smith - May 5

Annette Wims & Carolyn Wims-Campbell - May 12


Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

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