Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Remembers Linda Brown

March 27, 2018
Press Release
Landmark Supreme Court Case was based on Topeka segregation

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today recalled the important role Linda Brown played in the unanimous landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown  v. Board of Education of Topeka that declared state laws creating separate schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. Brown died Sunday at 75.

Congressman Cohen made the following remarks:

“Fifty years ago, just five days before he died, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that ‘human progress never rolls on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God.’ He added, ‘The time is always ripe to do right.’

“That was true in September 1950 when Oliver and Leola Brown sought to enroll their young daughter Linda in an all-white Topeka public school, were told they could not, and took action. The ensuing case of Brown v. Board of Education changed America forever, and for good.

“Linda Brown’s experience is proof that one person can make a difference. And it reminds us of what former Attorney General and New York Senator Robert Kennedy said before his untimely death: ‘It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’

“Thank you, Linda Brown. Your ripple rolls on.”