In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the prevailing practice of “separate but equal” public education. The Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site preserves documents, testimonies, and other artifacts associated with this pivotal moment in the struggle for African- American civil rights.
The restored 1950s-era Monroe Elementary School, once one of four African-American schools in Topeka, houses this fascinating collection. Race and the American Creed, an award-winning movie about events leading up to the court’s decision, plays continuously in the auditorium. The “Education and Justice” gallery profiles some of the students, parents, educators, leaders, and courageous, ordinary people who dared to challenge racial segregation.
Interactive stations throughout the site probe various aspects of the case, while a walk through the “Hall of Courage” recreates the experience of the first African Americans to attend newly integrated schools.
Additional exhibits explore the continuing story of African-American civil rights after the Supreme Court’s decision. In the “Expressions and Reflections” gallery, visitors are invited to add their thoughts to the museum’s growing collection.
Did You Know
The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is one many national parks that celebrate the African-American experience. For more parks that help tell the African-American experience see NPCA's detailed list of African-American History in the parks.