Wednesday, 28 March 2018


My obituary of Linda Brown, who was the student in Topeka whose father was the Brown in Brown v Board of Education, is up on the Guardian online. You can link to it here. It ought to be in the paper paper soon.

The piece is pretty much as written. They did lose a small but telling observation early: dropping the 'other side of the tracks bit' from this sentence, "But Topeka's primary schools were segregated; Linda had been attending Monroe Elementary in a black neighbourhood literally across the railroad tracks, and then a bus ride away." I felt it reinforced the point of segregation. They also cut a closing line from the Governor of Kansas, which I didn't mind because it was fairly generic. 

In a way it was hard for Linda Brown to assume the mantle in the same way people like Rosa Parks or Ruby Bridges or James Meredith did: she never had to face the angry crowds when the time came to take her rightful place. But as a symbol of her, her father Oliver's, and the other Topeka families' determination, her story is one that should be retold over and over.

No comments :