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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Memphis 13 / Springdale Elementary School

 
 
The Memphis 13 Springdale Elementary School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, October 8, 2015
1. The Memphis 13 Springdale Elementary School Marker
Inscription.
Front
The first African-American students to enroll in Springdale Elementary were Deborah Holt and Jaqueline Moore. Both lived closer to Springdale than to the African-American school where they otherwise would have been assigned. Jacqueline Moore Christion remembered the difference in subject matter between her old school and Springdale. "Everything was more advanced than stuff I was doing at Hyde Park. They were way past that when I got to Springdale." She also found the students to be friendly. "I had two little girls who made me feel very welcome. We laughed and talked. It was really enjoyable." But John Holt, father of Deborah Holt, recalled a darker side. "We got hate mail with no return address. It said, 'So you got your little black girl going to school. She's still going to be black.'" His family's reaction? "It made us more determined." Also to be remembered are the parents of these students: John & Lille Holt, and Beatrice Moore.

Back
In implementing the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 decision outlawing school segregation by race, the Memphis Board of Education ultimately agreed in 1961 to a plan to integrate the schools. The Memphis Branch of the NAACP recruited 200 applicants, and 13 African-American first graders were selected to integrate four elementary schools. This phased-in approach,
The Memphis 13 image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, October 8, 2015
2. The Memphis 13
adding a grade per year, was regarded as the safest way to desegregate the schools. Without violence on October 3, 1961, the students enrolled in Bruce, Gordon, Rozelle, and Springdale Elementary schools. After opening day they were on their own. During the course of the year and those that followed, their social isolation and educational progress were left unmonitored. Despite their difficulties, these 13 "pint-sized pioneers" struck a fatal blow to school segregation and claimed their place in Memphis history.
 
Erected 2015 by LaSimba M. Gray, Jr, The Shelby County Historical Commission and Friends of the Memphis 13.
 
Location. 35° 9.575′ N, 89° 58.541′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on North Hollywood Street 0.1 miles north of Jackson Avenue (Route 14), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 880 North Hollywood Street, Memphis TN 38108, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Southwestern Alumni World War II Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); William Neely Mallory (approx. 0.8 miles away); Fargason Fields (approx. 0.8 miles away); Tennessee Williams Play
Springdale Elementary School image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, October 8, 2015
3. Springdale Elementary School
(approx. 0.9 miles away); Overton Park (approx. one mile away); Rhodes College (approx. one mile away); Memphis Belle (approx. 1.3 miles away); First Baptist Church (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Set of four Memphis 13 desegregation markers.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Memphis 13 (2011). Documentary Film (Submitted on October 9, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.) 

2. The Memphis 13. (Submitted on October 9, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducation
 
Springdale Elementary School with marker and current students image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, October 8, 2015
4. Springdale Elementary School with marker and current students
Springdale Elementary School image. Click for full size.
By Steve Masler, October 8, 2015
5. Springdale Elementary School
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 184 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 9, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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