SUMMERTON, S.C. (AP) — Inside Secretary Deb Haaland joined Home Majority Whip Jim Clyburn on Tuesday in visiting a rural South Carolina college that’s now a part of a Nationwide Park Service program to safeguard establishments linked to the Supreme Court docket’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Training choice declaring segregated faculties unconstitutional.
Laws signed by President Joe Biden in Might added two South Carolina faculties to the Brown v. Board of Training Nationwide Historic Park. Haaland and Clyburn each spoke in regards to the significance of preserving and studying from America’s historical past.
“These tales usually are not all the time straightforward, and they are often traumatic, however it’s my responsibility to make sure that they’re advised as a result of our story is America’s story,” Haaland stated, standing in a constructing that when housed Scott’s Department Excessive Faculty, a so-called equalization college for Black college students created simply miles from Summerton Excessive Faculty, which served solely white college students. “It’s as much as us to inform America’s story.”
The laws, handed with broad bipartisan assist, additionally designated faculties in Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia as associates of the park, centered in Topeka, Kansas, the place the case was primarily based.
Brown v. Board of Training was a ruling for a bundling of circumstances, together with South Carolina’s Briggs v. Elliott, that challenged racial segregation in public faculties. In a small park outdoors Scott’s Department, plaques bear the names of the signatories to the Briggs petition.
“The tutorial and financial losses from these failed insurance policies are virtually unattainable to understand,” Haaland stated. “Websites just like the one right here in Summerton assist us to mirror on the previous, to have fun the progress and permit us to chart a path ahead for a extra equitable and simply future.”
Clyburn, South Carolina’s lone congressional Democrat whose sixth District contains the tiny city of Summerton, recalled Tuesday how he realized of the Brown v. Board of Training choice as he walked dwelling from college in close by Sumter.
“We’re right here at this time to be sure that people who come after us study these classes of historical past. You don’t study them by hiding them away or pretending they don’t exist,” Clyburn stated. “That to me, is the final word sin, to fake that they don’t exist. These items occur.”
“This isn’t about sound bites and making an attempt to disgrace individuals,” he stated. “That is about making an attempt to present our historical past again to our youngsters and our grandchildren.”
Beatrice Brown Rivers was 13 years previous when, alongside along with her sister and fogeys, she signed the petition that led to the Briggs v. Elliott case.
Now 86, Rivers beamed Tuesday as she mirrored on the federal recognition for her hometown’s place in historical past, though she acknowledged that lots of the similar historic struggles over race stay.
“I’m hoping that this can put our little city on the map, and that folks will come to see who we’re, what we did and the way proud we’re for all that we’ve got completed,” River stated. “Quite a lot of the identical issues that existed again then nonetheless exist. Segregation nonetheless exists, however that doesn’t trouble me any extra, as a result of I do know who I’m. … I do know what I must do, and I am going about doing it.”
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