Last year (2014) marked the 60th anniversary of the historic decision in "Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education." The Supreme Court ruling held that "separate but equal" facilities were inherently not equal, and therefore... unconstitutional. To mark the occasion, the Kansas Humanities Council teamed up with NPR's StoryCorps project to interview area residents and collect their thoughts about growing up in the town whose name became part of the landmark case. In this first installment, Dr. Beryl (Burl) New tells her story. She was interviewed by her granddaughter, Dajaia (DAH-zhay-uh) James, about what it was like attending school in pre-Brown Topeka.
That's Dr. Beryl (Burl) New and her granddaughter, Dajaia (DAH-zhay-uh) James. They took part in a StoryCorps project last year, marking the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board. During Black History Month and beyond, KPR will be sharing several StoryCorps conversations taped in Topeka and sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council and the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.
Learn more about the Supreme Court case that ended segregation; visit the Brown v. Board National Historic Site in Topeka.