COURAGE: the Carolina Story that Changed America

An image of a white school and an African American school in Clarendon County, South Carolina

Exhibit from the Levine Museum of the New South.

January 4 - February 26, 2011
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Half a century ago Carolina families launched a lawsuit that changed America. This lawsuit was the first of five across the country that would lead to the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. The Brown decision ruled racially segregated schools unconstitutional and set in motion a series of events that continue to shape our lives today.

Few Americans realize that what's known as the case of the century, started in the Carolinas. The final chapters of Brown played out in the U.S. Supreme Court, but the story began when a country preacher named Rev. J. A. De Laine and his neighbors in Clarendon County, South Carolina filed a lawsuit demanding the end of separate, unequal schools for their children.

In January, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site opens COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America. This groundbreaking exhibit tells the story of ordinary people – people outside the traditional power structure, without wealth and often with little classroom education – and how they worked together to begin the process that ended legal segregation of the races in America's schools. An exhibition of national importance, COURAGE commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision.

COURAGE has been created by Darcie Fohrman and Levine Museum of the New South's historian Dr. Tom Hanchett. Ms. Fohrman, an internationally acclaimed exhibit designer, is best known for "Daniel's Story," the powerful installation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Hanchett has written and taught extensively about the Levine Museum of the New South, and led the development of Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers exhibit at the Levine Museum. As curator for this project, Dr. Hanchett worked closely with the children of Rev. J. A. De Laine.

For more information, call Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site at (785) 354-4273 or email by clicking here. The dates for this exhibit have not been determined yet. Please check back at a later date for more information.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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