In 1950 the Topeka NAACP, led by McKinley Burnett, set out to organize a legal challenge to an 1879 Kansas law that permitted racially segregated elementary schools in certain cities based on population. For Kansas, this would become the 12th case filed in the state focused on ending segregation in public schools. The local NAACP assembled a group of 13 parents who agreed to be plaintiffs on behalf of their 20 children. Following direction from legal counsel they attempted to enroll their children in segregated white schools and all were denied. Topeka operated eighteen neighborhood schools for white children, while African American children had access to only four schools. In February of 1951 the Topeka NAACP filed a case on their behalf. Although this was a class action, it was named for one of the plaintiffs, Oliver Brown.
Information courtesy of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research.