November 14, 2010
McDonogh #19 Elementary School
5909 St. Claude Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward
Via the New Orleans Agenda:
New Orleans, LA -The Plessy & Ferguson Foundation, The Crescent City Peace Alliance, The Leona Tate Foundation for Change and the Institute for Civil Rights and Social Justice are proud to join together to invite you to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public schools in New Orleans. The event will take place on Sunday, November 14 at 9A.M. - the exact time the children were escorted by federal marshals into their schools -- on the neutral ground in front of McDonogh #19 (5909 St. Claude Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward). Community members will honor the families of the brave young girls who took their first steps into an all-white elementary school on this day fifty years ago by unveiling a state historical marker in front of the school.
The event will feature appearances by AP Tureaud Jr., Justice Bernette Johnson, Dr. Raphael Cassimere and Damon T. Hewitt of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, music by Mrs. Karen B. Favorite, and the plaque unveiling by civil rights pioneers Leona Tate, Gail Etienne Stripling and Tessie Prevost Williams. The US Marshals who escorted the girls into the school will also be in attendance.
On November 14th, 1960, four six-year old girls bravely entered McDonogh #19 and William Frantz elementary schools despite year-long daily protests and threats from segregationists. Their story marked New Orleans' dramatic entrance into the modern Civil Rights Movement and captivated the nation in 1960.
The marker will be placed on the neutral ground across the street from McDonogh #19 Elementary School, one of two schools that were desegregated on that day in 1960. Please join us in the lower ninth ward to celebrate this historic occasion.