60 years since Brown v. Board of Education decision ended segregation in schools

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - This Saturday marks 60 years since a monumental Supreme Court ruling that continued the push toward equality.

On May 17, 1954 the "Brown vs. Board of Education" case was decided.

It said segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

Oveta Glover and Millicent Brown were among the first South Carolina students to attend all-white schools.

"It wasn't about going to a white school, it was all about being able to have the same resources - the equal resources that they had," said Glover who is now a student scholarship coordinator at Voorhees College.

Glover and her family tried twice to attend a white school.

In 1960 she was disappointed to learn the school right across the street would deny her access.

It was three years later, she was admitted to another school in Charleston, James-Simons Elementary.

Glover said she could barely contain her excitement when she learned she would be going to a school across from her house that was all-white.

Glover said she had nerves but held her father's hand the whole way.

"My biggest fears were when Daddy wasn't around and that was in the classrooms when we had to go to the back of the class," Glover said.

She said she was groomed to understand the fight and understand her purpose, even though it was difficult.

"When I was younger, yes I harbored, well I hated white people because my father, the Ku Klux Klan beat him up and I was being called names and my mother had to leave her family because my father was involved with the Civil Rights activities that were going on in Charleston," Glover said.

It was Brown who helped integrate Rivers High School in Charleston.

"Some of us were met with a lot of animosity and anxiety, others of us talk about it being very welcoming and a very beneficial part of their upbringing," Brown said. "I don't have good memories of high school. I hated high school. Change came with great difficulty."

The Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954 created change.

But Glover and Brown helped put it into motion.

"It was actually born on the shoulders of children in 1st grade, 3rd grade, 8th grade, 12th grade, children were the ones that had to go in and change society," Brown said.

And they said it was not just change for African-Americans but change for everyone.

"I'm proud to be the first, to be able to say I did open some doors," Glover said.

To hear more about this story, tune into Awareness Sunday at 11 a.m. on WIS.

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