07 Aug “Before Brown, there was Branner”
It’s done. The three panel exhibit on the school segregation of Topeka’s Mexican community is done. The exhibit follows a timeline beginning with a very basic overview of Mexican immigration into Kansas and concludes with the beginning of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The opportunity to tell the stories of these children and a community that rose together against discrimination has been an empowering yet humbling experiencing. It’s an honor to follow the struggle of an immigrant community facing challenges that still baffle us today. It’s empowering to know that there was enough strength in a community to end segregation years before courts in California and DC ever could. But it’s humbling because the legacy left by this community needs to be told and lived: it needs to be retold and shared. There’s a lot of work to be done in the field of Latino narratives in the law—there are hidden perspectives in the Latina struggle for reproductive rights, in the Latino struggle for marriage equality, and, of course, in the Latino struggle for education. These areas hold a new perspective that deserves to be told in the larger narrative of United States history, and it’s a challenge that’s both daunting and galvanizing. My presentation at the post-internship workshop will follow the exhibit and will trace my experience making this exhibit. I’m excited to finally meet my fellow interns and share stories about our summers with LHIP.