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Oliver L. Brown
was the plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...
case Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...
of 1954. The Court overturned the doctrine of separate but equal
Separate but equal was a legal doctrine in United States constitutional law that justified systems of segregation. Under this doctrine, services, facilities and public accommodations were allowed to be separated by race, on the condition that the quality of each group's public facilities was to...
for public schools.
Brown was a welder in the shops of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway , often abbreviated as Santa Fe, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. The company was first chartered in February 1859...
, an assistant pastor at his local church, and an African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...
. He was convinced to join the lawsuit by Scott, a childhood friend. Brown's daughter Linda, a third grader, had to walk six blocks to her school bus stop to ride to Monroe Elementary
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site was established in Topeka, Kansas, on October 26, 1992, by the United States Congress to commemorate the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision aimed at ending racial segregation in public schools...
, her segregated black school one mile (1.6 km) away, while Sumner Elementary, a white school, was seven blocks from her house.
Brown died of a heart-attack in Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...
. His daughter Cheryl Brown Henderson works with the nonprofit Brown Foundation. People all across the world are still building foundations in honor of Oliver Brown.