Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site showcases a pivotal point in American History. On the grounds of what used to be Monroe Elementary School. One of the four segregated elementary schools for African Americans in Topeka in the early 1950s. This historic site helps explain the background for the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v Board. That court case paved the way to end legal segregation and overthrow the court’s ruling established in Plessy v Ferguson.
It is an important part of American history. One that should be not be forgotten. A visit to the Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site or others like it would be a good visit for adults and school children alike. As a school teacher, I see a variety of students come into school some want to be there unfortunately too many do not. A shame in many ways. However, one of the great tragic ironies in life is so many people throughout history fought hard to get quality equal education and some of today’s youth are just throwing it away. A trip to a place like Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site help reaffirm the idea that a quality education is worth fighting for.
Even though the former Monroe Elementary School is a two story building, the entirety of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site is found on the first floor. The museum is divided up into 5 sections or rooms. The auditorium has a highly informative short film called Race and the American Creed that runs a few times every hour. A gift and book shop. Two exhibit areas one explaining the causes that led to the landmark case and the other explains the aftermath of the decision. And my daughters favorite place the Kindergarten Room. A room that has been restored to its 1954 appearance. It has a working piano, maps, some dolls, and other things for kids to enjoy. For adults, it shows what it was like to attend a segregated school.
I found the exhibit set up at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to be very similar to our visit to the Civil Rights site of Central High in Little Rock. Both places highly educational. The main difference is that Central High is still functioning as a high school. They both make good use of a variety of media to inform. Both historic sites give a wonderful history lesson not only explaining what happened in Topeka but the reverberating consequences of that decision.
We enjoyed our visit. However, what turned a nice visit into a great one was the time we got to spend with one of the park rangers. One of the best national park rangers we have ever been around. A young man from North Carolina was so kind to us. Very informative, he answered dozens of questions, he was friendly to all of us. It was easy to tell he really enjoyed his job, which made us enjoy our visit all the more.
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Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site
Located at 1515 SE Monroe Street Topeka, Kansas
Hours of Operation 9 to 5 every day of the week except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information visit their website at https://www.nps.gov/brvb/index.htm