The names are Sarah Bulah, Spottswood Boiling, Oliver Brown, Harry Briggs, Barbara Rose Johns and Linda Brown.
From 1949 to 1951 these names represented countless African-American families, parents, and students at the heart of five separate school desegregation cases in Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia, Kansas and the District of Columbia. They were the voices of an outcry for justice within the African-American community. In 1952 these cases, initiated with the help of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, headed by Thurgood Marshall, were consolidated by the U.S. Supreme Court under the name Brown v. Board of Education. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional, overturning the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, establishing the doctrine “separate but equal.” As we revisit the historic ruling of Brown v. Board of Education during the 58th year anniversary, many are evaluating how we have progressed since 1954. On Fri., May 25 at 6:00 p.m., Solidarity, an advocacy committee, dedicated to promoting a progressive agenda in politics, education and culture is sponsoring Community Building Movie Night at Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55411. The event will feature “The Road to Brown,” a documentary profiling events leading to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, and honoring the father of civil rights lawyering, Charles Hamilton Houston. The free event includes admission to the film, food, community building and a panel discussion featuring Dr. Rose Brewer and Dr. John Wright from the University of Minnesota.
“It has been kind of a boomeranging 58 years (since the ruling)”, said Wright who has a personal connection to the case. “One of my uncles was part of Thurgood Marshall’s legal team that presented the case in 1954. It’s hard to think about the case without thinking about my uncle’s role in the process.”
Wright along with Brewer and key community members will gather to inform the community of its history and its present day and future implications.
It is through events such as the coming Brown v. Board of Education event that Solidarity aims to advance the community through education.
“We, Solidarity, embrace this as our guiding principle; in the name of our children, to make our community—local and national—a better place for all,” said Solidarity member John Abanu. “Solidarity is comprised of volunteer social activists whose (group) mission is to revive and maintain the struggle for social justice. In the spirit of our ancestors, we are committed to creating a non-racist, non-white supremacist, open-ended and democratic society; one in which the human personality of everyone will be respected.”
The event is being jointly presented by the partnership of Solidarity, African-American Leadership Forum, PCYC, African American Leadership Forum, and Headwaters Foundation.