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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Ghent Square in Norfolk, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Norfolk 17

 
 
The Norfolk 17 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Scott Rollins, February 25, 2012
1. The Norfolk 17 Marker
Top of marker
Inscription.  Four years after the May 1954 U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation of public school students based on race was unconstitutional, the Commonwealth of Virginia continued to resist compliance. A fierce legal battle ensued that included a strategy called Massive Resistance.

Rather than admit 17 black students who had been assigned by the Norfolk School Board, Governor J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. seized Norfolk's all-white junior and senior high schools on September 29, 1958, and ordered them closed, thereby barring nearly 10,000 students from attending classes, including the 17 black students. Granby, Maury and Norview high schools; and Blair, Northside and Norview junior high schools remained closed until February 2, 1959, when they reopened with the 17 black students in attendance after rulings by the Virginia Supreme Court and the U. S. District Court in Norfolk.

Fifty years later, this marker recognizes the pioneering achievement of The Norfolk 17.

The Norfolk 17

Granby High School
Betty Jean Reed

Maury High School
Louis Cousins

Norview
The Norfolk 17 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Scott Rollins, February 25, 2012
2. The Norfolk 17 Marker
Front face of marker
High School
Olivia Driver
Patricia Godbolt
Alveraze Frederick Gonsouland
Andrew Heidelberg
Delores Johnson
Johnnie Rouse
Carol Wellington

Blair Junior High School
Lolita Portis
Reginald Young

Northisde Junior High School
Geraldine Talley

Norview Junior High School
Levera Forbes
Edward Jordan
James Turner Jr
Patricia Turner
Claudia Wellington
 
Erected 2009.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsEducation.
 
Location. 36° 51.892′ N, 76° 17.459′ W. Marker is in Ghent Square in Norfolk, Virginia. Marker is on Shirley Avenue 0.1 miles west of Botetourt Gardens, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 322 Shirley Avenue, Norfolk VA 23517, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. West Point Monument at Elmwood Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); West Point Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); West Point Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Tar (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named West Point Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Elmwood Cemetery
The Norfolk 17 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Scott Rollins, February 25, 2012
3. The Norfolk 17 Marker
(approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Elmwood Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Father Ryan's Home (approx. 0.7 miles away).
 
Maury High School & The Norfolk 17 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Scott Rollins, February 25, 2012
4. Maury High School & The Norfolk 17 Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 13, 2012, by Kristin Rollins of Portsmouth, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,155 times since then and 98 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 13, 2012, by Kristin Rollins of Portsmouth, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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Oct. 20, 2020