"We had Little Rock in New Rochelle and no one was paying attention," said Mark Major, 59, a Lincoln student and lifelong New Rochelle resident.http://www.lohud.com/article/2010101240318
Today [January 24, 2011] marks the 50th anniversary of the federal court decision that forced the desegregation of public schools in New Rochelle. The landmark 1961 case, Taylor v. Board of Education of City School District of City of New Rochelle — named for Hallie and Kevin Taylor, the lead plaintiffs and parents of Lincoln students — was notable because it was the first court victory for those opposing school segregation in a northern city.
• 1898: Winyah Avenue Grammar School (eventually renamed Lincoln School) is built.• 1930: Daniel E. Webster Elementary School is built. Whites in the neighboring Lincoln School district are allowed to transfer their children, an option denied blacks.
• 1939: The first black teacher, Ethel O. Harris, is hired at Lincoln after years of campaigning by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
• 1947-48: Some parents suggest building a school to replace a deteriorating Lincoln.
• 1949: After a volatile meeting attended by 500 black parents, the Board of Education agrees to study the issue of redrawing the boundaries of elementary schools.
• 1957: A proposal to rebuild Lincoln on the same site is defeated.
• 1960: A referendum to rebuild Lincoln School is passed. Opposition steps up efforts, picketing Lincoln and unsuccessfully attempting to enroll kids in other schools. In October, Paul Zuber files a lawsuit on behalf of 11 families.
• 1961: On Jan. 24, Judge Irving Kaufman rules that the school board intentionally segregated blacks and orders the district to develop a desegregation plan. The district appeals and loses in August and the U.S. Supreme Court declines to review the case, ending litigation. About 300 students are bused from Lincoln to other schools at the start of the school year.
• 1963: Lincoln closes.
• 1964: Lincoln is demolished.
• 1969: Lincoln Park is built on the old school site.
• 1986: New Rochelle residents celebrate the 25th anniversary of the court decision with a gathering at Lincoln Park.
• 2010-11: New Rochelle schools and local residents commemorate the 50th anniversary of the court ruling.
Source: A 1957 report on New Rochelle by Dan Dodson, an expert on integration, and Journal News research
Related: Segregation persists in NR?
For the district they do not want people to know that there is today another school that is 94% Latino because that sounds too much like the Lincoln School. They certainly do not want people noticing the racial/ethnic composition of elite programs like PAVE, Kaleidoscope and the AP/Honors program or the abysmal on-time graduation rates for black (55%) and Latinos (51%).http://www.newrochelletalk.com/content/notes-jan-25-new-rochelle-boe-meeting-tax-cap-resolution-delayed-opening-snow-days-ignoring-
For the entire article:
Landmark decision integrated New Rochelle schools in 1961By Dwight R. Worley • dworley@LoHud.com • January 24, 2011NEW ROCHELLE —Flipping through a textbook in college, Dennis Gladden came across a passage about Lincoln School.The lifelong city resident attended the elementary school as a child and remembered it being closed, but didn't immediately grasp why it was mentioned in a book on constitutional law.Gladden read about the New Rochelle school district's deliberate and decades-long system of segregation, keeping black children in Lincoln and allowing neighborhood whites to transfer to other schools. And he read about the years of demonstrations by parents and residents, black and white, who marched in the streets and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to integrate city schools."I was completely shocked," said Gladden, 59, a teacher at an after-school program in Mount Vernon. "I didn't realize at the time the importance of it. It gave me insight into how significant it was to attend a school that changed the course of history."Today marks the 50th anniversary of the federal court decision that forced the desegregation of public schools in New Rochelle. The landmark 1961 case, Taylor v. Board of Education of City School District of City of New Rochelle — named for Hallie and Kevin Taylor, the lead plaintiffs and parents of Lincoln students — was notable because it was the first court victory for those opposing school segregation in a northern city.A group of local residents and scholars, led by author Linda Tarrant-Reid and New Rochelle Superintendent Richard Organisciak, have spearheaded a project to preserve the memory and educate residents about the case."The parents at the time were going to make sure their children had the best in education," said Pearl Quarles, 79, of New Rochelle, who in 1977 became the city's first black school board president. "It took a lot of bravery and it wasn't easy. It took a belief that this was the right thing to do."Winyah Avenue Grammar School was built in 1898. The three-story school — renamed Lincoln in the early 1900s — was at the center of a racially mixed, working- class community, said Barbara Davis, New Rochelle's city historian.But as blacks moved in, an outflow of whites from Lincoln continued in earnest, she said. In 1930, New Rochelle built Daniel Webster Elementary School. Davis said the school's attendance zone was deliberately drawn to exclude a large number of black families and include a large number of whites, regardless of how far they lived from the school. It became a popular destination for white families transferring their children out of Lincoln.Dan Boddie, an attorney who has lived in New Rochelle all of his 88 years, was in third grade in Lincoln when Webster opened. By fourth grade, Boddie said, "they built Webster and a lot of the white kids were no longer in Lincoln."By the late 1940s, most white students had left Lincoln. A group of parents, critical of the crumbling school and what they called its substandard education, began pushing for a new school to be built in the neighborhood. But others, backed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said a new building would not address segregation.After voters agreed to build a new school in 1960 - most Lincoln residents voted "no" on the referendum — anti-segregation forces became more vocal."My parents didn't talk a lot about it," said Jacqueline Yizar, 60, who lives in New Rochelle and was bused from Lincoln to Mayflower Elementary after desegregation. "But I could see there was picketing. There were mothers outside with signs."On Oct. 21, 1960, 11 families — among them Rudolph and Marjorie Williams, Ula Williams, Thomas Garland, Barbara Hall, Walter and Willene Murphy — filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking an end to segregation. It had been six years since the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which outlawed school segregation, and three years after schools in Little Rock, Ark., were integrated by force."We had Little Rock in New Rochelle and no one was paying attention," said Mark Major, 59, a Lincoln student and lifelong New Rochelle resident.Segregation in New Rochelle was deliberate, said Seth Glickenhaus, a Wall Street money manager who served on the city's school board from 1957 to 1962. Glickenhaus, who lived in the north end of the city, introduced a measure a month after the lawsuit was filed to allow residents to enroll in neighboring districts. It was defeated 5-3."The board was badly split," said Glickenhaus, 96. "The other group were, in my opinion, chock full of either racists or people who had a narrow point of view that education consists solely of learning subjects."In court, the parents' attorney, Paul Zuber, argued that Lincoln was substandard and that the board's neighborhood school policy was unconstitutional."Paul's idea was that you don't go to court saying that you are a poor African- American or Negro pleading for something special," Paul Zuber's wife, Barbara Zuber, 84, said from her home in upstate Troy. "We're doing this because we're Americans and our constitutional rights have been abridged."Then-Superintendent Herbert Clish steadfastly denied segregation existed in New Rochelle schools."I do not believe in playing God and sorting people according to race, color and creed," Clish was quoted as saying in a September 1960 New York Times article. "The abolition of our school districts so that the pupils could be redistributed according to color would be completely un-American."Many parents supported the lawsuit, but others wanted to keep Lincoln as a neighborhood school."It wasn't about integration. I went to integrated schools all my life," said Naomi McLaurin, 86, president of the Lincoln School PTA in 1961. "I thought it was a bad idea, the inconvenience busing would be for the children. I couldn't see that it would make that big of a difference to our children to have them sitting next to a white child."But Willie Mae Tucker, 85, who joined protesters in support of integration, said Lincoln students received a poor education."They weren't giving the kids the proper education they should have been getting," said Tucker, whose children attended Lincoln. "I just wanted to see equal rights for the blacks."On Jan. 24, 1961, Judge Irving Kaufman ruled that the school board intentionally segregated blacks and ordered the district to desegregate.The district appealed the ruling and Thurgood Marshall, the chief counsel for the NAACP and later the first black Supreme Court justice, joined the plaintiffs' legal team.The district lost an appeal in August 1961 and in December, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case, ending the litigation.Its last class graduated in 1963, and Lincoln was demolished a year later.Before the Supreme Court filing, the district allowed about 300 Lincoln students to be bused to other schools. Among them was the Rev. Richard Adamson, pastor of Gospel Tabernacle Church on Lincoln Avenue."When they transferred me from Lincoln to Mayflower, I sat on the corner with my lunch and cried," said Adamson, whose church sits across from Lincoln Park, built in 1969 on the old school site. "I didn't want to go. The teachers at Lincoln cared. You'd see them in the community."