Brown v. Board at 65: Brigitte Louise Brown Recalls Her Mother Being Denied a Seat at Her All-White Neighborhood School — and Her Grandmother’s Victory in Fighting Back
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BY BRIGITTE LOUISE BROWN

It was now time for my mother to begin high school. My grandmother wanted her daughter to go to Claymont High. One reason was that it was closer to their home and another was her daughter’s congenital heart condition. In addition, Claymont High had many classes that were not offered at Howard, including business courses which Ethel Louise was interested in. If she could attend Claymont High, this would relieve a tremendous amount of stress off both of them.

Grandmother’s family, as well as others on Hickman Row, owned their homes, which meant that the taxes they paid went into maintaining and fortifying Claymont High School. Before my mother started attending Howard High, my grandmother appealed to the Claymont High school board to allow her daughter to attend its all-white school.

Even with the knowledge of her medical disability, they denied her entrance to the school. They did so simply because of the color of her skin; they showed no regard for her fragile condition. My grandmother said: “We are all Americans, and when the state sets up separate schools for certain people of a separate color, then I and others are made to feel ashamed and embarrassed.”

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