Woman who testified in Brown v. Board case invited to attend First Lady’s graduation address

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – More than six decades after she often had to stand on a crowded bus to get to her segregated elementary school, Kathy Sawyer will sit in the front row of First Lady Michelle Obama’s address of Topeka’s high school graduates.

The 501 District has extended an invitation to the 73-year-old who testified in the historic Brown vs. Board of Education case as a child more than 60 years ago.

Five of her family members will also be able attend. Sawyer’s son told Kansas First News that he has also contacted the White House to see if it might be possible for his mother to meet the First Lady in person at the event.

The invitation comes after Kansas First News aired a story in which Nicollette Schleisman talked with Sawyer about her experiences as a child growing up in a segregated elementary school. Sawyer recalled her testimony in the historic Brown versus Board of Education case that effectively ended segregation in schools. 

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