Lowcountry events to mark 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education ruling


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – This week the nation is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the landmark decision Brown vs Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws establishing racial segregation in public schools were unconstitutional.
Before he became the first Black person appointed to the high court, Thurgood Marshall argued the case. There are some special events planned to commemorate that important case and Marshall in the Charleston area.
The Thurgood Marshall Center Trust is partnering with the International African American Museum, the Religious Affairs Department of the National Action Network, and the Charleston Community to celebrate.
The public is invited to attend two events.
Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston will host a showing of the movie “Separate but Equal” on Thursday night. The film stars Sidney Poitier as Marshall and was filmed in Charleston in 1991. Doors open at 5 p.m. and before the showing, there will be opening comments at 6 p.m. The movie begins at 6:30 p.m.
“The event at Charity will focus on public education then and now,” Garcia Williams, a consultant for the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust, said.
Then on Friday, the International African American Museum will host a panel discussion titled “From Briggs to Brown: The Journey Towards Desegregated Education.” Click here to register to attend the discussion.
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the landmark ruling that declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional, marking a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement and paving the way for greater equality in education. Brown v. Board of Education, a historic case composed of five separate cases, challenged the doctrine of “separate but equal” and the constitutionality of state-sponsored segregation in public schools.
The first of the five cases, Briggs v. Elliot, was filed in 1952 in South Carolina and served as an important milestone in challenging the racial segregation of public schools. Briggs v. Elliott was a case out of Summerton in Clarendon County, South Carolina, in which black families sued the school district superintendent, Roderick M. Elliott.
“Without Briggs v. Elliott, there would be no Dawn Staley, or Middleton at Porter-Gaud,” the Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III said. “He is the religious affairs director of the National Action Network and pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church.
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