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Imagine you are a little black girl and you have to walk 10 miles to get to your one room school house. As you are walking, you pass four all-white schools which you can not go to. When you finally get to the schoolhouse, you notice that the steps are cracked and broken. Once you are able to climb up the steps and you walk inside, you notice that there is a big hole in the roof. You also notice that two of the windows are stuck open. The floorboards creak as you walk on them. There are at least 100 black kids in your class and only one teacher. Your school doesn't have a heater, so you and your classmates have to chop wood and build a fire in the rusty old wood-burning stove.
This is what school was like for a girl named Linda Brown. She lived this life every day. Her father took the Board of Education to court. Learn about the battle between the Browns and the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas that finally allowed black students to go to the same schools as white students.
Another famous person who helped black students get a better education was Mary McLeod Bethune. She played a role in the fight for equal education by making schools for Blacks, like the one she started in Daytona, Florida. She also taught black students and worked with several presidents to fight to make sure every child in the U.S. received a good education.
Like Linda Brown, Ruby Bridges was a black girl who wanted a good education. The difference is that Ruby Bridges went to an all-white school. After the government said she was allowed to attend the school, most of the parents of white kids didn't want their kids sitting next to a black person. Learn how brave Ruby Bridges was to stand up to all the people who didn't want her at the school.
The Little Rock Nine also played an important role in the fight for equal education. They were nine high school students who were the first black students to attend Little Rock Central High School. The Governor of Arkansas tried to stop them from entering the school, but with the help of President Kennedy, the students won their fight for an equal education.
Medgar Evars was also involved in the fight for equal education. He helped his black friend get into an all-white college, and gave his life working for Blacks to be able to go to any college.
Learn how President Kennedy helped James Meredith and other black students in the South get a better education by sending in the army to protect them from the people who fought to keep schools segregated.
As you can see, many people have risked their lives to fight for equal education. Click on the picture next to the topic that interests you to learn more about these exciting civil rights leaders! Then use what you have learned to help you with our Equal Education Word Search.
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