TOPEKA (CN) – Zelma Henderson, the last surviving plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education, died here on Tuesday. She was 88. Henderson was one of 13 black parents who challenged Topeka’s segregated school system in the 1950 lawsuit.
The plaintiffs lost in U.S. District Court, but appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, along with similar cases from Virginia, South Carolina and Delaware.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 17, 1954 that segregated public schools are unconstitutional. It was one of the first major victories in the civil rights struggle.
Some plaintiffs from the cases that were consolidated with Brown still live.