Traveling Exhibit - Panels


Brown v. Board of Education - In Pursuit of Freedom & Equality - Traveling Exhibit
Panel 4 - Seeking Equality of Opportunity in the Promised Land

As the nation's leading advocates of racial equality, African Americans across the nation and in Kansas challenged the laws and practices of segregation in public schools. In Kansas protests emerged in the 1870s and 1880s. 

 As public schools spread across Kansas, the state's African American press fought against the expansion of segregation in urban schools.
Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society. 

John Waller (1850-1907), an African American lawyer and public official moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1879. Elected to the Lawrence School Board, Waller successfully prevented school segregation in the city during his term on the board.
Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

Elected as representative of Chautauqua County in 1889, Alfted Fairfax was the first African American to serve in the Kansas legislature. In an attempt to repeal the segregation provisions of the 1879 Kansas school statute, he introduced a bill which provided all children equal access to Kansas Public Schools. This proposal did not pass.
Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

Before the public policy of racial segregation became entrenched, urban schools in Kansas were both integrated and segregated. Shown here are Monroe and Lowman Hill Schools in Topeka in 1892.
Courtesy Mrs. Lois G. Lewis Collection, Kansas Collection, University of Kansas Libraries.

Monroe School

Lowman Hill School

In rural areas African American children attended the same one-room schools provided for all children of the community. Only first class cities were allowed to establish separate primary schools. Examples of integrated small town and rural schools were Hoxie, Burlingame and Burnett School District #83, Douglas County, Kansas.
Courtesy Kansas Collection, University of Kansas Libraries.

Burnett School District
Burlingame School District

Hoxie School District