NOLA Life Stories: A First-Hand Account Of Integration: Leona Tate Looks Back At McDonogh 19, New Orleans Public Radio,
September 2, 2014
As a young child without reference, the crowds of protesters awaiting Leona Tate at McDonogh 19 in the Lower 9th Ward sounded like a boisterous Mardi Gras parade.
When the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that separate black and white schools were unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, it seemed desegregation was close at hand. But it took six years before the New Orleans school system was integrated. In the fall of 1960, Leona Tate — then only 6 years old — was one of four young black girls escorted through a crowd of protestors.
Click here to hear Leona Tate recall integrating New Orleans’ school system and the reaction of the public.
She later began the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, to strives to enhance racial equality through education. This interview was conducted by historian Mark Cave for The New Orleans Life Story Project at The Historic New Orleans Collection.
By Thomas Walsh & Mark Cave on September 2, 2014