Brown v. Board of Education oral history project will capture community stories

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site News Release

Release date: For Immediate Release
Contact: Justin Sochacki
Phone number: (785) 354-4273


Got a Story? Brown v. Board Announces Oral History Project at 58th Anniversary Event

Topeka – The community has been talking and the National Park Service has been listening. Topekans want to see their stories told at their national park. We invite you to join us at 2 p.m. on May 17 to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and learn about the park’s new Oral History Project. Governor Sam Brownback will be issuing a proclamation formally apologizing for the State’s policy of racial segregation in education. The proclamation will be presented at the event by Dr. Mildred Edwards, Executive Director of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission. The event is free and open to the public.

After musical selections by the Williams Magnet School Choir, attorney Charles Scott, Jr. will discuss the role his family played in the fight to end segregation in Kansas schools. Mr. Scott is a third generation attorney whose father and grandfather battled segregation in Kansas courtrooms for the first half of the 20th century. The National Park Service seeks to facilitate connections between those who lived this history and a nation of children that must learn its lessons.

The Brown v. Board of Education Oral History Project will capture the stories of community members that relate to the historic Brown decision.

The park is interested in recording memories, recollections, and experiences of people living in Topeka between 1940 and 1970, including stories about schools, neighborhoods, work life, and community activities.

Park staff will be onsite to sign up community members that want to share their stories in a formal oral history interview that will be scheduled for a later date.

We are particularly interested in hearing about the experiences of teachers and students at Topeka public schools, both before and after the Brown decision in 1954. The individual oral histories will become part of the Brown v. Board of Education Oral History Project. Oral histories provide future students and researchers a record of history that can only be found in the people who lived it. Though national in its significance, the case affected the Topeka community, and if the stories of this historic event are not preserved, then they will be forever untold.

Please share this announcement far and wide. As always, the event is free and open to all. If you cannot attend on May 17 but would still like to share your stories, please contact Park Historian Thom Rosenblum at (785) 354-4273 ext. 234 or BRVB_Interp@nps.gov. We hope to see you on May 17.

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site tells the story of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation in public schools.

The site is located at 1515 SE Monroe Street in Topeka, Kansas, and is open free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exceptions of Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/brvb or call (785) 354-4273.

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