Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and Jerry Moran released the following statements after the House of Representatives passed their legislation to commemorate the historic sites that contributed to the 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The bill, which unanimously passed the Senate earlier this month, now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The legislation will expand the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas and designate National Park Service (NPS) Affiliated Areas in Delaware, South Carolina, Kansas, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
“Decades ago, parents in the Topeka area stood up for their children and fought against segregation, ultimately leading to a vital Supreme Court decision that changed our nation for the better,” said Senator Marshall. “Kansas has a rich history of engagement in the fight for civil rights and these historical sites hold a special place in our hearts. I am proud to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to advance this important legislation so future generations can continue to learn about these pivotal times in American history.”
“Kansan Linda Brown and her parents took their case all the way to the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, leading to the unanimous overturn of the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine that discriminated against school children because of their skin color,” said Senator Moran. “I look forward to the President signing this legislation into law to expand and preserve the historic sites in Kansas and around the country connected to this case. Kansas has played a key role in the civil rights movement, and we must seek to preserve this legacy which calls on all Americans to uphold the self-evident truth that all men and women are created equal.”
The 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka transformed the United States, overruling Plessy v. Ferguson and striking down school segregation as unconstitutional. The Brown decision was a major catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
The creation of NPS Affiliated Areas in Delaware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia for sites associated with the Brown v. Board of Education case and an expansion of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to include the related sites in South Carolina provides an opportunity for these sites to tell their own under-recognized histories of the Brown v. Board of Education case.
In collaboration with local partners and other stakeholders, the National Trust will continue its work to bring recognition to communities that fought for school integration and make connections between communities engaged in the fight for educational equity, past and present.