100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher

The Fight for Equal Education

“Headstrong and Smart-Mouthed”

Sipuel v. Oklahoma State Board of Regents

332 U.S. 631 (1948)

On the night of May 31, 1921, the booming oil town of Tulsa, Oklahoma, erupted in one of the bloodiest race riots in American history. Before the fury spent itself, dozens lay dead, half of Tulsa's black population of eleven thousand were interned, and the thriving black commercial and cultural section of the city—thirty-five square blocks of homes, businesses, and churches—was in ruins, burned to the ground. Two black witnesses to the wanton destruction were Travis and Martha Sipuel.

He was the son of former slaves and in his mid-forties. After a soul-stirring conversion, he had resolved to devote his life to preaching the Gospel; ...

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