For more than 40 years, a bitterly contested Cold War divided the world into opposing camps.
The Jim Crow Laws were in effect when Linda Brown was but a small child. This law forced African Americans to drink from separate fountains, use separate restrooms, and eat in separate sections of restaurants. There weren't to many protests of such things by Blacks until the 1954 decision.
Linda Brown had to walk one mile to Monroe Elementary School for African Americans through a switchyard. Sumner Elementary for Whites was only seven blocks away. Monroe Elementary was of broken ceiling tiles, floors, plaster, windows, and heating ducts. Segregation of white and black children made colored kids in public segregated schools feel inferior, but black schools were not known for inferiority to white schools in Kansas. Yet there still was the feeling.
In 1955 a petite 42 year old black woman named Rosa Parks lived in Montgomery, Alabama. One evening, Rosa was riding in the colored section at the back of the bus. Once all the seats were filled at the front of the bus for the white people, the driver said, "Gimmie those front seats!" When Rosa refused, the driver said, "I’ll have you arrested." Rosa still refused and the police were called. Two police officers approached Rosa. She said, "Why do you push us around?" One officer responded, "The law is the law and we are arresting you." This event helped start the end to the segregation laws in the south.
Although most school districts at least attempted to integrate, some districts tried to avoid it, particularly those in the South. One of the most famous cases of integration was the story of the Little Rock Nine, which took place in Little Rock, Arkansas. Governor Orval Faubus had the National Guard block nine black students from entering Central High in Little Rock because he didn’t want to integrate Little Rock’s schools. President Eisenhower heard of this and sent Federal Troops to protect the nine black students.
On February 1, 1960,at 4:30pm four students from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University sat down at the lunch counter inside the Woolworth's store at 132 South Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. The men, later known as the A&T Four, ordered coffee. Following store policy, the lunch counter staff refused to serve the African American men at the "whites only" counter and the store's manager asked them to leave. The four university freshmen – Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr, and David Richmond – stayed until the store closed. The next day, more than twenty African American students who had been recruited from other campus groups came to the store to join the sit-in. Students from Bennett College, a college for African American women in Greensboro, joined the protest. White customers heckled the black students, who read books and studied to keep busy. The lunch counter staff continued to refuse service.