Mural painted by artist Michael Toombs, Non Nobis Solum, Not for Ourselves Alone, 2023. PHOTO OF GRIFFIN PROVIDED BY FAMU LAW SCHOOL
ORLANDO, Fla – Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law Professor Ronald Grifﬁn is one of the legal experts featured on a special mural to honor those who were associated with the historic Brown v. Board of Education case that ended segregation of the public schools in 1954.
The Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to separate public school children on the basis of race. This overruled the “separate but equal” principle set forth in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case.
Grifﬁn and others were honored over the summer by Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. The University opened a new law school building and dedicated a special mural featuring Thurgood Marshall, Grifﬁn and others associated with the Brown v. Board of Education case.
Grifﬁn was a new member of the Washburn University faculty back in 1979, when along with professors Bill Rich, Myrl Duncan and Allen Easley, he volunteered to be part of a litigation team to ﬁle another case with the District Court called Brown II.
“My colleagues and I developed the legal strategy pointing out the failure to fully desegregate the schools,” said Grifﬁn.
This allowed Grifﬁn and his colleagues to participate in the historic Brown v. Board of Eduation case. The professors’ actions helped to make sure the landmark legislation was in compliance and enforced in Topeka Public Schools. Enforcement included busing children of color to schools that had previously been all white.
“My father and mother were my inspiration for the deeds done in the Brown II case,” said Grifﬁn. “To have it recognized and celebrated with others, in a portrait, commissioned by Wash- burn University Law School kindles warm feelings. Speaking in historic terms: It is something special to pass on to my wife, children and grandchildren.”