News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: February 4, 2004 (04-12)
Contacts: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College to Host Two February Events Commemorating
50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Thomas Nathaniel Todd to Speak Feb. 18, Radio Host Joe Madison
to Moderate Feb. 24 Discussion

Montgomery College will be hosting two special events during Black History Month to commemorate this year’s 50th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown vs. Board of Education.

Prominent civil rights attorney Thomas Nathaniel Todd, a.k.a. “TNT,” will speak about the legacy of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS decision on Wednesday, February 18, 7 p.m., at the Montgomery College Theater Arts Arena, Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street.  The renowned orator is the first of three planned lectures this year commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case.  As part of the Empowerment through Literacy lecture series, the event is co-sponsored by Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County African American Employees Association, and Montgomery County Public Libraries.

Joe Madison, host of “Mornings with Madison,” airing on WOL-AM, a Radio One, Inc. station, will be the moderator of a second commemorative event to be held Tuesday, February 24 at 7 p.m.  Entitled “Voices of the Experience,” Madison will lead a panel discussion on remembering, learning, and living the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, in the Theatre Arts Building on Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Maryland. 

 Among the panelists contributing to the discussion are Nina Clarke, author of “History of the Black Public Schools of Montgomery County Maryland, 1872-1961;” Warrick Hill, author of “Before Us Lies the Timber: The Segregated High School of Montgomery County, Maryland, 1927-1960;”  Doris Hackey, and James Offord, graduates of the Montgomery County Public Schools. Each panelist will share his or her personal experience with segregation in Montgomery County public schools, and the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision. 

After the panel discussion, members of the community are invited to share their thoughts and stories. The event is organized by the 50th Anniversary and Commemoration Committee of the Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College, in cooperation with the Montgomery County African American Employees Association.  

On Monday, May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled to end racial segregation in public schools, saying that it “deprives children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities.”  This decision overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, which had set forth the “separate but equal” doctrine.   Brown v. Board of Education marked a profound turning point in the U.S. history and affected not only African Americans, but eventually many other disadvantaged groups of people, according to Dr. Alonzo Smith, research historian for the National Museum of American History and an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College.

In addition to hosting these events in observance of the 50th anniversary of this landmark case, the Montgomery College Board of Trustees recently passed a resolution reaffirming the College’s commitment to providing equal access to higher education.  The resolution also affirms the College’s support of efforts on behalf of educating the residents of Montgomery County to ensure learning equity for all students through institutional, political, personal, and civic engagement.

For additional information about the lecture and panel discussion, please contact Montgomery College’s Office of Equity and Diversity at 240-567-5276.

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