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WEEKLY NEWS

P Stra u b l i s wber h ry M e d the Wee in i ssis kly of ci New sippi by vil ri s ghts upda Industry tes.

1951

Issue No. Fifteen

Legal Assistant Mr. Clayton Chester Helps Win the Case!

Max Harris

Turn to section D4 for the biography of Mr. Clayton Chester.

AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WITH A DREAM. BROWN V.S. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN TOPEKA

This case was called to court in 1951 because 13 families tried to enroll their African American children in a white school district. The school rejected them and they went to court. The lawyers that assisted in the case were paid by the NAACP. Continued on Page 2

THE CASES

In the lawsuit, Brown Vs. The Board of Education, their were many separate cases. Three at the state level and one at the Supreme Court. Overall, the lawsuit took five years to settle. Continued on Page 3

BIOGRAPHY

Clayton Chester Logan, also know as “Little Man” had a tough youth in a world that would not accept him because of his race. Continued on Page 4

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WEEKLY NEWS!

BROWN V.S. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN TOPEKA Brown Vs. The Board of Education actually included 13 families in a joint lawsuit. Brown was the name given to the lawsuit because it was the first name in an alphabetical list of the families involved. This case was called to court in 1951 because 13 families tried to enroll their African American children in a white school district. The school rejected them and they went to court. The lawyers that assisted in the case were paid by the NAACP. At the time of the lawsuit, many souther n states were racially segregated. The state governments forced citizens to abide by the Jim Crow Laws. These laws

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discriminated against black people living in the south. Among other things these laws stated that blacks could not eat in the same restaurants, drink from the same water fountains, or worship in the same churches as white citizens.

WHY THIS CASE CAME TO BE There were many reasons why this historic case came to be. Most of the reasons had to do with schools. In the 1950’s public schools in the southern states still did not have any black children enrolled. This was another harsh reality of the Jim Crow Laws that were abided by in the south.

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WEEKLY NEWS!

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THE MANY CASES OF BROWN VS. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION THE STATE CASES There were 13 families involved the the lawsuit. When the lawsuit was first filed it was taken to the state level. The lawyers that represented the 13 families were led by Thurgood Marshall. The team of lawyers were paid by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The reason the cases lost at the state level is because the courts kept referring to a former case known as Plessy Vs. Ferguson which allowed for separate but equal school systems. The problem with this was that this former case took place in the north where the issues were completely different than what they were facing in the south. THE SUPREME COURT CASE After much failure at the state level, the NAACP decided to take the case to the Supreme Court. There the lawyers presented both sides in three days. One of the main arguments of the Brown side was that the only way segregation was okay was to prove that the black children were

different from the white children besides the color of their skin. The Board of Education argued that people including black scholars saw no issue with the black c h i l d r e n attending an all black school. After the lawyers presented their cases the Supreme Court justices took three months to discuss the case. At one point during the discussions, one of the justices died and had to be replaced. This meant that the case had to be re-heard, a year after it was originally tried. After five years of vigorous fighting and discussion, the Brown side came out victorious. AFTER THE CASE WAS WON In the 1960‘s and 1970’s there was some improvement in the public school systems because the United States government ordered bus drivers to pick up black and white children from different neighborhoods and bring them to the same school.

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WEEKLY NEWS!

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THE STORY OF “LITTLE MAN” THE LEGAL ASSISTANT EARLY LIFE OF CLAYTON CHESTER LOGAN Growing up in Mississippi after the Great Depression, was not an easy time. Clayton Chester Logan or “Little Man” as he siblings called him, was discriminated against because he was African American. His school did not have a bus so he had to walk a mile to school every morning and every afternoon to get home. Little Man often got frustrated because he liked to keep his clothes clean which was impossible when the bus from the white school would ride right up next to him and his siblings and splash them with mud. After graduating elementary school from Mrs. Crocker’s class, Little Man went to college at the University of Mississippi, also known today as Ole Miss. After four years of intense work Little Man was glad to be graduating after being tormented by the white students at college. He then decided to move up north to Michigan where there was not as much racial discrimination as in the south. Little Man bought an apartment and began a job teaching at Addison County elementary school. After 10 years of successful teaching, he got married to a white girl and visited Mississippi to reunite with his

family during the civil rights movement. His family was impressed by his wife and how there was not as much racism in the north than in the south. They then told him how bad the schools had gotten in the south. Knowing this information Little Man and his wife attempted to show white kids that black people and white people can live together in peace and equality. After several failures he moved back to Michigan with his wife to continue his job as a teacher. One year later, Little Man heard of a girl named Linda Brown who along with 13 others was trying to enroll in a white school. After hearing that the lawyer for the case was a close friend, Little Man asked if he could assist in the case. He was then welcomed into the team of lawyers. After his success with the case, he played a big part in helping schools integrate and he was also involved in another famous case called the the Little Rock Nine.

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Max Harris 4/1/11