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In the years following Brown v. Board of Education, thousands of children desegregated America’s schools. “The task that fell to them was a brutal one,” our senior editor Rebecca J. Rosen writes.
White parents, and their children, attempted to block Black children from attending classes—often ruthlessly—using “bomb threats, beatings, protests. They physically blocked entrances to schools, vandalized lockers, threw rocks, taunted and jeered.”
In our new special project, titled “The Firsts,” our staff writer Adam Harris tells the stories of five students who lived through the transition.
12 years old ♦ Taft Junior High School ♦ Washington, D.C., 1954
Price and his family fought for him to be one of the first Black students at his all-white high school in Washington, D.C. But once he was there, he “couldn’t wait for it to be over.”
Jo Ann Allen Boyce
14 years old ♦ Clinton High School ♦ Tennessee, 1956
Boyce and 11 other students desegregated their high school in Clinton, Tennessee. Then the riots came.