Linda Brown, who helped end USA school segregation, dies aged 76

Courtesy WIBW

Courtesy WIBW

The Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel in Topeka said her survivors include a daughter, Kimberly Smith, although it did not have a complete list of survivors.

In 1951, a nine-year-old Brown was barred from attending an all-white school close to her home in Topeka, Kansas, where elementary schools were segregated by race. "The struggle to end "separate but equal" continues as our schools are becoming increasingly more segregated".

It was only there, she told the New York Times as a senior in 1961, that she began to realize the significance of the court decision.

The case was argued by the iconic Thurgood Marshall. When the school blocked her enrollment her father sued the Topeka Board of Education.

The American Civil Liberties Union rights group also hailed the impact of the Brown case, and Ms Brown herself.

To reach the bus that carried her and her sisters 2 miles across town to the all-black school, she said she had to walk through railroad yards and across a busy avenue. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) took up the case, which was combined with segregation suits against school districts in other states when it came before the Supreme Court.

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Because Brown was the first name alphabetically on the plaintiff's list, the case was dubbed Brown v. Board of Education.

Linda's parents are from Topeka, the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the seat of Shawnee County.

As for her role in the landmark case, Ms.

"He believed that a child having to go so far to receive a quality education was wrong, just because of the colour of skin, and he was very, very determined that something was going to be done about this", she added.

"I feel that after 30 years, looking back on Brown v".

"I played with children that were Spanish-American", Linda Brown said in a 1985 interview.

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In his lawsuit, Brown claimed that schools for black children were not equal to the white schools, and that segregation violated the so-called equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which holds that no state can deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of law.

"Linda Brown is one of that special band of heroic young people who, along with her family, courageously fought to end the ultimate symbol of white supremacy - racial segregation in public schools".

She sometimes said that she had little memory of the court case that changed her life, as well as the lives of millions of African Americans across the country.

For several years, Thompson worked as a Head Start teacher and for a time taught private piano lessons.

"My parents tried to explain this to me but I was too young at that time to understand".

Schools had several options for integration, including redrawing school district boundaries or busing students to different schools to change the racial balance.

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