MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) Speaking in front of a large crowd at the Overture Center for the Arts on MLK Day, Cheryl Brown Henderson shared the story of having her family be at the center of a landmark case. Brown v. Board of Education initiated the reform of public schools and helped to launched the civil rights movement. It was part of the 34th annual Madison & Dane County King Holiday Observance.
Henderson is one of three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver Brown. In the 1950s, he filed a lawsuit in Topeka, KS against the local Board of Education after his daughter, Linda, was denied entrance into an all white elementary school. The Supreme Court ruling stated that racially segregated public schools were unconstitutional.
In her remarks on Monday night, she said "progress can not be stopped." She highlighted a few people who are continuing to push for change and equality on all fronts. Even though the civil rights movement dates back 70 years now. She said there's still work that needs to be done.
"Our struggles with race and gender equality didn't start with us. Let's except that," said Henderson. "But we're here now. It is our watch. So we need to make sure that we and our children take responsibility to engage in meaningful and lasting change."
Also during the ceremony, two people were honored for their work to carry on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy. Anthony Cooper and Shayla Glass were honored with the 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award.