New Orleans Honors 4 Trailblazers on the 61st Anniversary of the Desegregation of Its Public Colleges • •

Yesterday, the town of New Orleans honored the 61st anniversary of the combination of its public colleges by 4 6-year-old Black women, stories ABC Information.

The celebrations to honor the 4 trailblazers have been initially deliberate for the historic event’s sixtieth anniversary final yr, however the festivities have been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

On Nov. 14, 1960, Gail Etienne, Tessie Prevost, and Leona Tate have been accompanied by U.S. marshals as they walked into McDonogh 19 Elementary Faculty within the Decrease ninth Ward; and at  William Frantz Elementary Faculty, Ruby Bridges was escorted to her first day of sophistication.

In 1960, the ladies have been chosen from a pool of 134 Black college students who utilized to attend the town’s all-white public colleges. Earlier than their choice, the scholars have been academically and psychologically evaluated by the college board.

Gail Etienne, one of many “New Orleans 4”  who built-in the college 61 years in the past, mirrored upon coming into the constructing surrounded by the racial hatred of white mobs.

“I used to be simply afraid,” she recalled. “I didn’t know what was occurring and what they have been considering.”

In the course of the ceremony, U.S. marshals escorted Etienne, Prevost, and Tate to the identical faculty they desegregated 61 years in the past, accompanied by three younger Black women. To honor the historic second, marshals positioned a wreath of flowers on the faculty and the ceremony concluded with the singing of “Raise Each Voice and Sing.”

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On Friday, Tate stated at first she didn’t perceive the massive crowds as she ready to attend faculty on that fateful day. In a metropolis recognized for Mardi Gras, initially, she thought {that a} parade was on the best way.

“That’s what it regarded like,” she remembered. “All I may see was police on horseback, holding the gang again. And that’s the one factor I may relate to.”

The McDonogh 19 Elementary Faculty was badly broken in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and is at present being became the Tate Etienne Prevost Heart, a civil rights museum.


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