Linda Brown, the desegregation advocate from the landmark Brown v. Kansas Board of Education of Topeka case, has died at the age of 75 in Topeka.
Both CNN and the New York Times are reporting Brown’s March 25 death after receiving information from the Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel. While the funeral home confirmed they are organizing the arrangements, they did not offer information regarding the cause of death.
When Brown was nine years old in 1951, her father tried and failed to enroll her in Sumner Elementary School which was, at the time, an all-white school that other children in her integrated neighborhood attended. Her father, Oliver Brown, then sued the Topeka Board of Education.
The Brown case was combined with the complaints of four other families from other states and brought before the United States Supreme Court, that in 1954 ruled that segregated schools contradicted the “separate but equal” precedent that was established in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling. Under the Brown ruling, states that allowed for segregation in publicly funded schools directly violated the 14th Amendment.