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Statue dedicated in Topeka to key player in Brown case

October 01, 2018 - 6:41 pm

A statue has been dedicated in Topeka to honor an instrumental player in the Brown v. Board of Education case that ended segregation in public schools.

The statue of McKinley Burnett was dedicated Sunday afternoon in the city's downtown. While president of the Topeka chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Burnett helped recruit the 13 black parents who tried unsuccessfully to enroll their children in white Topeka elementary schools in 1951. Their lawsuit was combined with four other segregation challenges, leading to the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Washburn University School of Law dean Carla Pratt says the case was the most significant of the 20th century because it demanded that America live up to its promise of equality.

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