News at St. Catherine's

Sharing the History Behind Brown v. Board of Education

Cheryl Brown Henderson visited St. Catherine’s as the 2024 Dalton Speaker. She is one of the three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown who, in the Fall of 1950 along with 12 other parents, filed suit on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education in Topeka, Kan. 
     Cheryl Brown Henderson wants people to know the true story — the actual history behind Brown v. Board of Education.
     As one of the three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, she believes it is her job to tell the story of what happened 70 years ago, the intention behind it and her family's involvement. 
     St. Catherine’s welcomed Henderson to campus on Tuesday to talk with students in grades 7-12, faculty and staff as well as the community.
     In the Fall of 1950 her father along with 12 other parents, filed suit on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education. She explained that Life Magazine portrayed the case as her father trying to gain admittance for his daughters into white schools. And that is the story that has been told for decades.
     Instead, it was part of a bigger movement with 13 families included. Her family was actually the fourth asked to join the case. She also discussed the other key cases around the nation that were integral to the civil rights movement. 
     After speaking to students in Endeavour Hall, Henderson ate lunch with history teachers and then visited AP U.S. History classes. The Upper School girls prepared questions to ask her about her experiences growing up and today. 
     The evening event for the community was moderated by Dr. Lauranett Lee, a professor at the University of Richmond and a public historian specializing in teaching, advocating and collaborating with diverse community and academic audiences.
     Henderson visited St. Catherine’s as part of the Dalton Speaker series. Established in 1986 in memory of the late Governor John N. Dalton, the Dalton Speaker Endowment Fund was established to bring to the St. Catherine's campus a teacher or group of speakers to interact with our students and faculty on issues relating to the federal or state government.  
     Past speakers include CNN reporter Jessica Yellin, Little Rock Nine member Minnijean Brown-Trickey, former governor Linwood Holton, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and his wife Anne Holton, and Virginia Supreme Court Justice Leroy Hassell Sr.
Located in the heart of Richmond, Virginia, St. Catherine’s School is a private, all-girls pre-K, kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school. We provide a well-rounded educational experience for girls from communities across Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and all of central Virginia. St.Catherine’s all-girls educational experience is rooted in more than a century of history and tradition. From our revolutionary past to our dynamic present, St. Catherine’s has always focused on preparing students for a boundless future.