A original "Brown Vs. Board of Education" plaintiff looks back on monumental desegregation case

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 10:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 10:04am

Sixty-three years ago Kathy Sawyer was 10-year-old Katherine Carper, testifying with her mother, Lena Carper, in the Brown v. Board of education trial in Topeka, Kansas.

"I certainly didn't understand at that time, what it was all about," said Sawyer.

She was called to the stand to explain how she got to one of only four elementary schools in Topeka, several miles from her house. There was a white elementary school in her own neighborhood.

"I think that's why I was asked to testify. Because and then when we got to school, in the evenings, the busses were very full, of all the kids trying to get home. People standing up, 4-5 to a seat," said Sawyer.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of integration on May 17th, 1954. She says because she has grown up being involved in the case her whole life, it is not something she always thinks about. But she does think about how far society has come.

"I think , have we gone far enough? No. In fact I see things that look like they're trying to push it backwards," Sawyer says now.

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