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Charles I. Baston Interview

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Creator: Baston, Charles I.

Date: May 14, 1992

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Audiotape, Voice

Call Number: Brown v. Board Oral History Coll. 251, Box 1, Folder 6

Unit ID: 211840

Restrictions: This interview has a signed release for scholarly or educational purposes only.

Summary: Charles Baston was born in Lee's Summit, Missouri, on April 24, 1917. He attended grade school and junior high school while still living in Lee's Summit, and after junior high he moved to Topeka to attend the Kansas Vocational Technical School. He moved to Topeka permanently after his World War II discharge. Baston was a member of the executive committee of the local chapter of the NAACP during the Brown v. Board hearings. Much of his interview deals with the NAACPs role in finding plaintiffs in the Brown case, the problem with busing students to segregated schools, and other individuals who were instrumental to the success of this suit. Towards the end of the interview he also talks about how the Brown decision has not reached its full potential because of the racial prejudices that still exist today. Jean VanDelinder conducted the interview. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service, and the Kansas Humanities Council. Parts of the interview may be difficult to hear due to the quality of the original recording. This interview has a signed release for scholarly or educational purposes only.

Space Required/Quantity: One compact cassette audiotape.

Title (Main title): Charles I. Baston Interview

Part of: Brown v. Topeka Board of Education Oral History Collection at the Kansas State Historical Society.

Biography

Biog. Sketch (Full): Charles Baston

Mr. Charles Baston was born in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, on April 24, 1917, to Bertha Dysort and Irvin Baston. His father’s family escaped slavery in Texas by coming to Missouri, where they established the family farm. His mother died in 1924, and his father passed away seven years later in 1931. He attended grade school and junior high school there, but only went to high school for two years at Kansas Vocational Tech in Topeka.

After Mr. Baston finished high school, he worked at Postal Wade Glass Company in Kansas City, Missouri, for a time. He spent some time in the service during World War II, and after his discharge, he moved to Topeka to stay. Mr. Baston first worked at Forbes Field when he returned to the area; after that he was transferred to the Oklahoma Air Command (the old supply depot across the street from Forbes) where he worked until 1960. After that, he was transferred to the VA Hospital and stayed there until retiring in 1973.

Mr. Baston married Edith Crouder of Sedalia, Missouri. The couple has a daughter who lives in Louisiana. Edith Baston passed away in March of 1982. Mr. Baston was a member of the executive committee of the local chapter of the NAACP at the time the Brown case was filed; he passed away on January 1, 1993.

Scope and Content

Locators:

Locator Contents
122-10-02-01   

Index Terms

Subjects

    Brown v. Board of Education Oral History Project

Creators and Contributors


Additional Information for Researchers

Restrictions: This interview has a signed release for scholarly or educational purposes only.