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Monday, February 18, 2013

1970 – Lori Tennant Remembers Her Friends

1970.  Not so long ago if you put it on a timeline. But it took years to get to 1970.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1954 ruling, public schools were required to integrate.  But a Superintendent by the name of O.K. Phillips declared that schools in Broward County would continue the policy of segregation. 

That all changed in 1961 when a black student, Chester Seabury, entered Stranahan High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to become the first black student in an all-white public school.  He graduated from that school in 1963.

John Lennon’s 1969 single, Give Peace a Chance, was a song that played over and over at the Fire Drill Talent Show at McArthur High School in Hollywood, Florida, Broward County.  It’s the song I remember most vividly, because it was timely.  Many of my friends at McArthur were black—Ron, George, Baby Tonia, just to name a few.  I can’t imagine not having them as friends. 

In the scheme of things, 1970 isn’t much older than integration itself.  Not in Florida.
And that one song is such a beautiful reminder of what we are all capable of.

Ed note: Historical info provided by Nancy Knipe

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