History re-tweets itself: Brown v. Board at 60 on Twitter

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 16, 2014 


This is an interior view of Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, in 2000. This is where Linda Brown, in whose name Oliver Brown filed the lawsuit that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision, attended school.

KERENA CAWTHON — Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT

What if today’s real-time social media existed during a key moment in American history?

National Park Service may provide the answer when it takes to Twitter to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision.

The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kan., will conduct a re-enactment of the decision and the national reaction to it via Twitter on May 17 and May 18 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Twitter users can follow the re-enactment using the hashtag #Brown1954. The May 17 feed will center on the heart of the decision, starting with speculation among Supreme Court clerks and culminating with excerpts from Chief Justice Earl Warren’s reading of the Brown decision.

The following day’s feed will center on reactions – from citizens to the news media to organizations – from around the country. Brown v. Board historical site officials have created Twitter accounts for key ‘characters’ who’ll tweet out what they said in 1954.

Those figures include Warren (@SC_CJ_EWarren54), pro-segregationist Gov. Herman Talmadge of Georgia (@GovTalmadge54), Mississippi’s Jackson Daily News (@Jackson_Daily54) and The New York Times (@NY_Times54).

All the content in the re-enactment will come from direct quotes pulled from primary sources but will be lightly ‘translated’ so it can fit Twitter’s 140-character per-tweet platform, Brown v. Board historical site officials said.

The historical site’s official feed - @BRVB_NHS – will re-tweet abridged versions of the re-enactment on both days.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service