Obama hosts families, lawyers behind landmark Brown civil rights case

President Obama marked the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling by meeting with attorneys and family members behind the landmark civil rights case, the White House said Friday.

The president welcomed lead attorneys Jack Greenberg and William Coleman, members of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and some relatives of the thirteen Topeka, Kan., families who sued over their school district's racial segregation policies. The group met privately with the president at the White House on Friday night.

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Before the meeting, a White House official said the president "will thank them for their strong commitment to making sure our nation has a fair and equal education system for people of all backgrounds and encourage them to continue that fight for future generations," according to a statement.

First lady Michelle Obama also marked the anniversary in a speech to Topeka high school students Friday evening.

Attorney General Eric Holder will also discuss the case during a speech at Morgan State University, a historically black institution, on Saturday, the official anniversary of the ruling.

In a presidential proclamation issued Thursday, Obama said the Brown decision "shifted the legal and moral compass of our nation."

"We must continue striving toward equal opportunities for all our children, from access to advanced classes to participation in the same extracurricular activities," Obama said.

"Because when children learn and play together, they grow, build, and thrive together," said the president.

This story was updated at 7:00 p.m.