A Passing Generation

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Several figures from the school desegregation era have died this year:
Spottswood W. Robinson III, 82, died Oct. 11 in Richmond, Va. As the lawyer for the plaintiffs in Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, Va., filed in 1951, he argued that case before the U.S. Supreme Court after it was consolidated with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
Louis L. Redding, 96, died Sept. 27 in Lima, Pa. He was one of the lawyers who argued Gebhart v. Belton, a 1952 Delaware case consolidated under Brown, before the high court.
Eliza Briggs, 81, died Sept. 15 in New York City. Mrs. Briggs and her late husband, Harry, were the main plaintiffs in the 1949 Summerton, S.C., case Briggs v. Elliott, which also became part of Brown.
Felicitas Mendez, 82, died April 12 in Fullerton, Calif. Mrs. Mendez and her late husband, Gonzalo, successfully sued an Orange County, Calif., district in 1945 after their children were barred from attending school with white children.
Charles Walden died in March in Vancouver, British Columbia. The longtime Kentucky journalist's articles and editorials of the late 1960s prodded Louisville into fulfilling a 10-year-old court order by creating a nationally recognized desegregation plan.
Thomas R. Grant, 71, died Feb. 6 in Atlanta. A U.S. Department of Education investigator, Mr. Grant traveled to schools throughout the South in the 1960s and early 1970s, helping them draw up desegregation plans.
Joseph A. Hall, 89, died Jan. 19 in Cincinnati. The first executive director of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, he led the drive to integrate schools as well as restaurants and hotels there.

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