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Sun May 5, 2019, 03:15 AM

Brown v. Board of Education: Topeka's other Brown landmark deteriorating

A cloud of uncertainty hangs over one spot considered a historic landmark in the Brown v. Board of Education case.

The former Sumner Elementary School, 330 S.W. Western Ave., is on the National Register of Historic Places. But the school has sat empty for years, and the Ward Meade Neighborhood Improvement Association is appealing a decision by Shawnee County District Judge Richard Anderson in favor of the California church that owns the property.

“Besides the fact that Sumner is sitting in a neighborhood vacant and deteriorating, which affects that neighborhood, there’s simply something about our heart and that story that needs and deserves preservation and telling,” said Karen Hiller, chairwoman of the Brown v Board Sumner Legacy Trust, established in 2012 and dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the school. “It drains us to see the life drain out of Sumner.”

Black minister Oliver Brown tried to enroll his daughter, Linda, in the all-white Sumner Elementary School, helping bring about the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that banned racial segregation in schools. The school was closed in 1996, bought by the city in 2002 and sold at auction to a representative of Archbishop W.R. Portee, founder of Los Angeles-based Southside Christian Palace in 2009 for $89,000.

Read more: https://www.hdnews.net/special/20190504/brown-v-board-of-education-topekas-other-brown-landmark-deteriorating/1
(Hays Daily News)

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