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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Voices from the Book
People talk about the depression. I don’t remember much about it. We had everything we needed.
—Elsie Steward Young
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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