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"We conclude that in the field of Education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." 
                                             - U.S Supreme court, 1954

May 17 marks the 65th anniversary of the groundbreaking ruling of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case. And in recognition of this landmark anniversary, Topeka will host a 10-day celebration honoring the legacy of the this momentous case and reflecting on the history of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

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From May 10 - 19, experience historic tours, performance art pieces, documentary viewings, a film festival and multiple community discussions. Did we mention the majority of these events are completely FREE?

Here's our day-to-day break down of this historic celebration!

May 10

Brown V Board 1954: Hear Our Voices

Presented by Brown v. Board Sumner Legacy Trust, Hear Our Voices is a collection of stories about black neighborhoods, life, times, and the culture in the 1940s and 50s. Enjoy this theatrical production at the Topeka Performing Arts Center (TPAC).

Smoke Behind Closed Doors

The theatrics continue at Topeka High School with local playwright Tyson Williams' new play, Smoke Behind Closed Doors. Tickets are $15 per person. 

 

May 11 & 14

Art and Cultures Tours

Tour five cultural art sites with accompanying tour guide to over 30 Topeka sites. Tours begin in front of Topeka High School on 10th Street. 

 

May 12

DANCE...in Black and White - A Movement in Desegregation

Enjoy an original interpretive dance created by Steven Massey of Blaque Onyx Artistic Creations at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. 

 

May 13

Oral History Day at the Library

This is a unique opportunity for individuals and small groups to share memories of their own education experience, impressions of the 1954 Supreme Court decision and its impact and their hopes going forward. Self help oral history kits and assistance with recording will also be available.

 

May 14

Mulvane Art Gallery Exhibit

Visit the Mulvane Art Gallery, on Washburn University campus, to view this temporary art exhibit featuring three works from the permanent collection to engage viewers with notions of freedom of expression and civil liberty. This event will include the Gallery Talk: Unanimous by Dr. Brett Beatty.  

 

May 15

Brown V Board Day at Monroe Elementary

Tour Monroe Elementary, where the National Park Service helps preserve and interpret the nationally significant history of the 1954 Supreme Court case. Enjoy exhibits, talk with park rangers, and take a self-guided Brown to Brown city tour. Be sure to stick around for the preview of the KTWU Documentary Preview: I Just Want to Testify.

 

May 16 

Brown V Board 65th Anniversary Film Festival

The Brown V Board Film Festival, presented by Jayhawk Theatre, is a day of award-winning films centering on the topic of civil rights. Films include Daughters of Dust, Lean on Me and BlacKKKlansman. This event is free but registration is encouraged.  

 

May 17

Brown V Board 65th Anniversary Celebration

Join us for a community street party at the Brown V Board Mural featuring live music and food trucks.

Brown V Board 2019: Real Talk, Next Steps 

This symposium, taking place at TPAC, will feature panelists and round tables, including opportunities to participate for all attendees. Discussion will move from the largely black and white lens of 1954 through diversity, opportunity and potential in the present and future. 

 

May 18 & 19

65th Anniversary Brown V Board Tours

Join a guided bus tour Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 of more than 10 local sites focusing on Topeka Civil Rights history. 

For even more information on this 10-day celebration, check out Brown V Board of Education 65th Anniversary: An Unfinished Agenda