TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — People are making their mark outside the Brown v. Board of Education building in Topeka in honor of the 68th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision.
Tuesday marks 68 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued a monumental decision, declaring that separate public schools based on race were unconstitutional. The historic moment extends beyond Kansas. The ruling came from a bundle of cases that all challenged racial segregation in public schools.
It’s what inspired Topeka native Mindy McKinley to get involved with an art dedication to honor over 200 plaintiffs involved in the case.
“It’s nice to reflect on where we came from, how much progress we’ve made … and how much progress is still left to happen,” McKinley said.
The names of the plaintiffs have been written outside Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park in Topeka. Nicholas Murray, Education Specialist of the park, said this is just one way to remember those whose actions led to a more equal society today.
“We also really wanted to show the size, scale and scope of this court case,” Murray said. “That it wasn’t just one family here in Topeka, Kansas … that even just locally there’s 13 families total who were a part of this.”
This month, President Biden signed a law to redesignate the site as a National Historical Park, along with two other schools in South Carolina that were instrumental in the case. The school in Topeka became part of the national park system in 1992. However, the president’s actions allow additional schools to be added.
“Some people definitely seek out those park destinations a little bit more, so we’re looking forward to hopefully having some more visitors here … sharing this story, and being able to work with the other communities that were involved with this court case too,” Murray said.