February 20

Linda Brown

Linda Brown (born February 20, 1942) U.S. civil rights activist (plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education)

Read about Linda Brown here

Read the Wikipedia entry on Brown v. Board of Education

Read the transcript of a 1985 television interview with Linda Brown

"My father believed very much in right, and he felt that it was wrong for black people to have to accept second-class citizenship, and that meant being segregated in their schools, when in fact, there were schools right in their neighborhoods that they could attend, and they had to go clear across town to attend an all-black school. And this is one of the reasons that he became involved in this suit, because he felt that it was wrong for his child to have to go so far a distance to receive a quality education.

I remember Monroe School, the all-black school that I attended, as being a very good school, uh as far as quality is concerned, the teachers were very good teachers, they set very good examples for their students, and they expected no less of the student. ... This was not the issue at that time, quality education, but it was the distance that I had to go to acquire that education.

I feel that after thirty years, looking back on Brown v. The Board of Education, it has made an impact in all facets of life for minorities throughout the land. I really think of it in terms of what it has done for our young people, in taking away that feeling of second class citizenship."

Read the
Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years (1954-1965)
transcript here

Linda Brown recalls her childhood experience which led to the landmark Supreme Court case for desegregation

Ellis Cose

Ellis Cose (born February 20, 1951) U.S. journalist - The Envy of the World: On Being a Black Man in America

Read a biography of Ellis Cose here

Read a Newsweek editorial by Ellis Cose (February 2010)
about the New York Times former managing editor Gerald Boyd

I believe Boyd's assertion that he had no special relationship with Blair, the plagiarist. From Boyd's perspective, such a relationship would have made no sense. Apparently, the belief he was Blair's mentor took hold for no other reason than that both Boyd and Blair were black, and many people seemed incapable of seeing much beyond Boyd's color—despite his having helped to lead the Times to an unprecedented seven Pulitzer Prizes in one year.

Watch Ellis Cose speak about journalists covering gun violence
 Gun Violence and Police Encounters: Reducing Lethal Outcomes

Buffy Sainte Marie

Buffy Sainte Marie (born February 20, 1941) Canadian songwriter – Universal Soldier

Read about Buffy Sainte Marie here

Verse excerpts from the song Universal Soldier

He's five feet two and he's six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He's all of 31 and he's only 17
He's been a soldier for a thousand years

And he's fighting for Democracy
and fighting for the Reds
He says it's for the peace of all
He's the one who must decide
who's to live and who's to die
and he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier and he really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me and brothers can't you see
this is not the way we put an end to war.

Buffy Sainte Marie talks about the inspiration for Universal Soldier here

Watch a 2006 documentary about Buffy Sainte Marie

Nevena Stefanova

Nevena Stefanova (born February 20, 1923 or 1924) – Bulgarian poet

Read about Nevena Stefanova here