Brown at 50GAMBIER, Ohio (December 1, 2004) Brown vs. the Board of Education has been called the case that broke the back of American apartheid, a watershed on the cultural landscape. As America recognizes the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark case that sought to end segregation in public schools, Kenyon Affiliated Scholar Pamela Hollie need not consult the history books. She was there.
"I knew Oliver Brown and all of the other plaintiffs," Hollie writes on the Voices of Civil Rights Web page. "When Topeka schools were integrated under the watchful eye of the nation, it was my brother and I who were the first and only blacks at the Charles M. Sheldon Elementary School, a school built on land just behind my home. I survived, though I can't say that I was inspired to learn." Nonetheless, she pursued a rigorous education and has gone on to a varied and highly accomplished career.
Hollie will share her memories and experiences on Tuesday, December 7, at 11:10 a.m. in a talk entitled "Brown vs. Board: A Personal Journey" in Peirce Hall Lounge. A senior fellow at the Prague Institute for Global Urban Development in Washington, D.C., Hollie has a home in Gambier that she shares with her husband, Writer-in-Residence P.F. Kluge.
Hollie is a 1970 graduate of Washburn University in Topeka and she holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She has worked as a journalist for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, embarking on a second career as a professor and nonprofit consultant specializing in developing and transitional economies. She has served as representative for the Asia Foundation in ten Pacific Island countries and the Philippines and as director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Nature Conservancy's Asia program. In addition, she has taught at Columbia University and held the Willard M. Kiplinger Chair in Public Affairs Reporting at The Ohio State University.