NPR

A Visit To Topeka: Reflecting On Linda Brown's Legacy

Linda Brown, the 9-year-old old whose name was enshrined in the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, died this past Sunday. She was 75.

I never met Linda Brown in person. But like many Americans I knew her story. And her death on Sunday reminded me that, in 1996, my NPR colleague and producer Walter Ray Watson and I spent several days in Topeka, hoping to find another layer to Linda's story and her role in the Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

I've been reporting on school segregation — and desegregation — for years and Brown's passing reminded me of this visit to the place where, in a sense, this story began.

I remember driving down the tree-lined streets of the racially mixed neighborhood where Linda lived with her

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