Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

While in north Kansas, we visited both Topeka and Kansas City. One of our visits in Topeka was to Monroe School, a national historic landmark which is home to the Brown v. Board of Education museum. (This site has lots of information if you're studying this subject.) It is also a national park and Alex earned her 3rd Junior Ranger badge there. (The website says you will need to complete 3 of 4 activities, but we were surprised that she just had to read about 8 pages of information and there were NO activities to complete. They also said they'd ask her questions at the end, so we "studied" hard... BUT, they didn't ask her any questions. We all learned a lot though!)

Brown v. Board (1954) was actually not a single case, but a consolidation of 5 cases. In 1954, Brown v. Board ended legal segregation in public schools. This case overturned an earlier Supreme Court decision from 1896, Plessy v. Fergusen, which set the precedent for "separate but equal" facilities. (Follow the Plessy link... it's a fascinating story!) (This photo of Alexandra is showing 10 things which were separated as to "white" or "colored.")

The above photo is of a "data sheet" by Dr. Kenneth Clark. The "test" was given to many black children who showed results like Ethel Mae Brown's... that she thought the white doll was "nicer"; she'd rather play with the white doll; the white doll was a nice color; and the black doll looked bad.
Here's another photo from Dr. Kenneth Clark's research which showed "an 'unmistakeable preference' among both African American and white children for the white doll." Isn't that sad!

We bought one workbook that we are working through: "I Want to go to School! Brown v. Board of Education" by Carole Marsh, an American Milestones book. (There are also books on other topics - I'm not sure if this is a complete list.) It has 28 pages on each of the pages it has several paragraphs about some aspect of this case and then something to do like a crossword puzzle, mapwork, matching, etc. We're learning a lot with this book!


Rhonda said...

That looks like a fantastic field trip-so much food for thought.
Some of it is so sad but so necessary that we learn it all and never forget the history of our nation.
I was looking at the photos below-I am so glad that the storm was not worse for you-it was bad enough though!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog-I've enjoyed "meeting" you!
I'll stop back in. :)

Sherri said...

I love history!!!!!!

Will it be a big deal to get your fence fixed?

Robin said...

Well, it IS history. But isn't it a shame how badly people can behave?

The Ties that Bind Us said...

What a great field trip! I wanted to invite you to leave an old post, or a new post about a history topic in my Homeschool History Buffs Carnival coming up. What may be "old" to you, may be new to someone else. : ))

Marie said...

What a great field trip and subject.It is important that we do not forget,good or bad. Thanks again,marie

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