Image of the Day: Michelle Obama Recaptures a Moment in History

Before Brown v. Board of Education, such an image was unimaginable.

Posted: 07/16/2014 11:43 AM EDT

In their wildest dreams — or nightmares — the people who supported the type of segregation and discrimination that the "white" and "colored" signs here symbolize never imagined that one day an African-American family would be the nation's first family.

First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Topeka, Kansas, in May, to visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site on the eve of the landmark Supreme Court case's 60th anniversary and address the city's graduating high school seniors.

In 1954, when the case went to the Supreme Court, Obama would not have been allowed to use the same public facilities as the woman she faces in this image, or even to attend the same school.

"I believe that all of you — our soon-to-be-graduates — you all are the living, breathing legacy of this case," the first lady said in her remarks. "Not only are you beautiful and handsome and talented and smart, but you represent all colors and cultures and faiths here tonight. You come from all walks of life, and you’ve taken so many different paths to reach this moment. Maybe your ancestors have been here in Kansas for centuries. Or maybe, like mine, they came to this country in chains."

Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.

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(Photo: Chuck Kennedy/Official White House)

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