In 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously declared: “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” With this landmark decision, the United States put an end to racially segregated schools on the grounds that they violated the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection to all Americans.
The Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park commemorates this decision and the larger struggle for racial equality through educational exhibits and events on the grounds of Monroe Elementary, a formerly all-Black school in Topeka, Kansas. A museum incorporates videos and interactive exhibits on the history of racial segregation in America and the destructive legacy of Jim Crow. A walk through the site’s “Hall of Courage” recreates the experience of the first African Americans attending newly integrated schools. Visitors are encouraged to absorb the difficult history and also reflect on it in a space provided for art and meditation.