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Two months after Brown v. Board of Education legally ended school segregation, on the night of July 5, 1954, around two a.m., my sleepy segregated little hometown, Hillsboro, Ohio, the county seat of Highland County, was jolted awake by a fire at the colored school; and History and Memory came marching into town like the Fourth of July Parade the day before. I was eight years old when the Memory first took form. 

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Spuyten Duyvil Press 

Interview with author

Press Information

Like a great epic filmmaker, Susan Banyas moves fluidly between the personal and the historical, the particular and the archetypal, the internal and external. Memory has profound resonance in our time of relative truth, greed and indifference to history. This powerful book is more relevant than ever.
— Meredith Monk, Composer/ Director/ Performer
Weaving her way back and forth, from the early days of the Republic until the present, Banyas has created a history that comes alive with real people whose lives were central to the racial change and backlash, the passions and struggles that engulf this country today.
— Lewis Steel, Civil Right Attorney, author of The Butler’s Child, a memoir

Voices from the Book

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People talk about the depression. I don’t remember much about it. We had everything we needed.

—Elsie Steward Young

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It’s hard to get a date if you’re a Communist. It’s tough. You walk up to a group of friends and they just disappear. That was a big one. That was a biggie.

—Tom Partridge

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I told the judge, ‘Just let me get my ironing done and I’ll go to jail.’ It was comical in a way and it was nerve wracking in a way. I didn’t care. I was thinking of the children.

--Gertrude Clemons Hudson (center) with Merle Hudson and Joyce Clemons Kittrell, Plaintiff in Clemons v. Board of Education, Hillsboro, OH, 1956.

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How does a kid arrive at a resolution that shakes

his world? Is there a sense of justice even in young children?

I thought about things a great deal.

—Philip Partridge


Her cousin Junior Burns said, “Imogene had the brain power.”


Constance Baker Motley. She was one of the preeminent civil rights lawyers all through the South. She was a very young lawyer at this time. I’ll get you her chambers number. She’d remember the Hillsboro case.

— The Honorable Judge Nathaniel Jones

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Well, sure enough a big fine car drove up in front of Miss Kilgore’s and he came in and interviewed me and had a write up in Jet Magazine.

– Mary Hackney

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A police officer approaches me while I am campaigning, slows down and I think, “Uh oh, what did I do?” He rolls the window down and gestures for me to come over. “I’m voting for you,” he whispers.

— Pam Limes


“Friendship, it’s perfect. Just write The End.”

— David Ornette Cherry, Composer and Collaborator