When M was touring the Capitol dome, he learned that we were just a couple of blocks from Monroe Elementary School, the site of the segregation battle made famous by the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case. I’m not looking to give you a history lesson here, but basically it resulted in the Supreme Court overturning the ruling of separate but equal from the late 1900s. Here is an article you can read for more information.
I was really afraid the kids would be bored here, but they were actually really interested in learning about the history of the site. G especially really got into it, which was great as a parent. The school my kids go to is pretty ethnically diverse compared to a lot of places in Iowa, but still not the same as in other parts of the country. It was interesting to see their perspectives on it though and hear them asking questions about why the school had different areas for “whites” and “coloreds”…
It was sad to have to explain it to them, but I was happy to hear them say things like how unfair it was and how they couldn’t believe that “So-and-so” from their class would have been treated that way.
The school itself now has a museum inside with interactive exhibits for kids about segregation. It was really well done and kept them occupied and interested.
The other hall of the school had rooms set up to show the difference in what a white classroom would have been like versus a colored classroom. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I took many pictures, but it was fascinating.
This may have been a last-minute stop, but it was definitely worth it! This stop showed us that the kids like the historical sites as much as the parks, and made it worthwhile to hit one more stop on the way home. But first, we needed lunch!