Brown V. Board of Education Historic Site

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Address: 1515 SE Monroe Street, Topeka, KS 66612-1143

Cost: Free

Website: http://www.nps.gov/brvb/index.htm

For those who may not be as familiar with the Supreme Court Case Brown V. The Board of Education of 1954, this was the case that declared that the practice of segregation was inherently unequal, and thus found to be unconstitutional. It would lead to the end of segregation in public schools, and as time continued, the end of segregation in America would soon follow. While the case has long passed, and a number of the people involved have passed, the building where the whole thing began is still standing and can be visited. That building is the former Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas.

The building itself has been well maintained by the Nation Parks Department, and contains relics from the past including portraits for the era of segregation as well as artifacts. The classrooms of the old school have been converted into exhibition rooms that depict the chain of events the lead to the practice of segregation and its eventual end. One of the exhibits even features opposing video screens with footage of white protestors yelling racial slurs to give you an idea of what the children experienced as they began to integrate the schools. There are meeting rooms available for use by school groups who come to learn about this time in history that would bring a better level of equality to all people of the nation. A book store is also available for reading materials related to the era of segregation as well as mementoes from your visit to this historic site.

As a teacher, it was very moving to me to visit this historic site, especially considering that this particular court case would allow for the diversity that can be found at many of our public schools, which I personally feel is something to be celebrated.

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