Orange County school desegregation: The legacy of eight families

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“OrlandoSentinel. com”

Since: Nov 06

Orlando

#1 Feb 23, 2008
For Black History Month, the Orlando Sentinel's Jeff Kunerth looks at the lives and legacy of those who opened the door to integration in Orlando.

This message board is to discuss the stories from this eight-day series.

The stories as well as video, timeline, documents and a searchable database of Orange County school racial makeup over the years can be seen beginning today at OrlandoSentinel.com/desegregation .

Please read the series and help contribute to a worthy discussion of school desegregation as a whole and its status today, in the past and in the future here in Orange County and Central Florida.

Richard Tribou
Senior Editor
OrlandoSentinel.com
steve

Orlando, FL

#2 Feb 24, 2008
I graduated Colonial in 1972 . Desegretation was just getting started in my junior and senior years. We didn't have many problems that I could recall. I had a black teacher who taught Literature. She had an all white class and we didn't give her any trouble and respected her. I think that in my senior year we had a few black students and there wasn't any issues that I can recall. Orlando and Florida in general didn't have near the trouble other citys and states had.
Factorial

Winter Springs, FL

#3 Feb 24, 2008
I have to object to the wording in your opening title that implies that these lawsuits "taught whites equality". You don't teach anybody or anythig but hatreds and resentments by bringing lawsuits and getting up in their faces. Segregation was forced in by Federal laws at the point of a gun, not by anything these people did or didn't do.

Nobody need feel proud about the sordid history of slavery or the following era after abolition of slavery. The way integration should have come about was by beginning school integration in the first grade long ago and not dropping it all across all grades like an avalanche. The northern states need not feel so goody goody when the percentages of blacks in their populations were tiny compared to having in some cases 50% down here in the South. You cannot compare integration in the North in most areas with that in the South. True, in big cities, the percentages were as high but for the most part, many schools so called integrated in the North meant they had 2-3 negroes in the entire school and they were more likely to be from better homes and parents with good educations.

The problems in our schools arose because we frankly didn't make schools equal and we didn't do anything until we were forced to. I hate to say it, but it is true. We weren't "bad people" we just carried on like our parents did, and accepted the status quo as normal. I still maintain, and will maintain till my dying day that most ethnic groups prefer to mix in their own environment. Educators now are seeing the value of keeping boys and girls separated even. I think all parents, regardless of race, don't like to see their children being bussed miles away from their neighborhoods. I think we should have and could have done a lot differeently and better without having the Federal government heavyhandedly come down on us and much sooner.
Factorial

Winter Springs, FL

#5 Feb 24, 2008
And I intended to say in the closing sentence "and we should have done something much sooner on our own without being forced by law."
Nicsta

Altamonte Springs, FL

#6 Feb 24, 2008
I have a problem with the following headline that appears on www.orlandosentinel.com : "How 8 Families Fought Desegregation in 1962." Some one goofed. It makes it sound like the 8 families approved of segregation. Fortunately this error only appears online, not in the print copy of the Sentinel. Did anyone else notice this snafu?
Susan C

Orlando, FL

#7 Feb 24, 2008
I started school in 1971 in Tampa. I usually tell people I never remember life before desegregation. I know we did have black students, I just don't know how many. My parents let one of my friends Dylette spend the night at my house but I don't remember going to her house. I remember going to Sedar with Abby. I do remember many refugee students from Vietnam and briefly learning some
Vietnamese.
Sixth and seventh grade were the times I rode the bus for an hour to make sure the previously black junior high had some white kids in it. No one made a fuss or caused a ruckus. We really didn't even know why we were on the bus heading across town. It wasn't till I was an adult I figured it out. Ironically, from being the token white kid in the class I found myself being the token white person in the classroom again as an adult. I taught briefly as an adult at a school here that had gone from all white(Anglo-Saxon) to mostly all minority. If my one white student didn't come to class I was the only visable person of German-Swedish heritage in the classroom. Once again, no big deal, except I can see visually I am of a different ethnic make-up.
My children go to a school where they are only part of the five percent that are European. I can spot them quickly waiting in the car line. When I look up their school I see their school was 100 percent white in the sixties.
Factorial stated that people feel comfortable sticking with their own kind. What I feel comfortable sticking with are people who are solidly middle class. The past few years I have found myself to have met more lower income people and i find I have different standards and values and priorities than they do. It is not color so much as class.
I think we are better off having diresity but not everyone will agree with me.
John P Ellis II

Lake Mary, FL

#13 Feb 26, 2008
There's n old southern saying,'If I'd known you all would've caused this much trouble, I'D HAVE PICKED MY OWN COTTON!'
MY RESPONSE IS,'YOU SHOULD'VE PICKED YOUR OWN COTTON! We didn't asked to be brought here...
The south did rise again... South of the border! So 'Press Uno'..
John P Ellis II

Lake Mary, FL

#14 Feb 26, 2008
Let's have a 'Million Man Dance! We can 'jump start' th economy by giving the 'million' men a credit card and a one word speach...CHARGE!
tHEN, TO PAY ALL THE CREDIT CARD DEBT BACK. WE CAN HIRE THOSE MILLION MEN MINIMUM WAGE TO PANIT THE WHITE HOUSE BLACK!
WOW

Orlando, FL

#15 Feb 26, 2008
I noticed the Slantinel deleted your other two postings I didn't see any offensive language, just you defending your dad's image
why do you think the sentinel removed your comments?
Think they should be embarrased?
If they did not misquote anyone, why should they have removed those?
Vouchers

Orlando, FL

#16 Feb 26, 2008
Desegregation in Pontiac, Michigan destroyed Pontiac, Detroit, Flint and Benton Harbor in the 70’s.

If anyone remembers the Michael Moore film “Roger and me” about how GM destroyed Flint it was a total lie. Court ordered bussing destroyed Flint. As proof just look at the suburbs of Flint. Very affluent. Seems people don’t like sending their kids to schools where they get beat up and exposed to drugs and rape on a daily basis.

The first year of desegregation at Pontiac Northern produced riots. The second year beat downs of white students by the now majority black students. Intimidation, rape, drugs. There was no education whatsoever.

Desegregation? What a joke. Another way of destroying complete cities, cultures and hundreds of thousands of innocent students, kids, victims of a system gone insane.

Pontiac, my former city, is now 72% black, 16% Hispanic and 12% white. Michigan is much more segregated today than it was in the 1970’s. You want to see racism at work. Go to Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Illinois and watch a young couple buy a house. Race determines everything. It makes or breaks a city and its fiancés.

Back in the early 70’s the races lived together in large cities. Detroit, Pontiac, Flint. That is all ancient history now. Anyone who has been to Detroit recreantly knows what I mean.

Desegregation forced down the people’s throat by idiotic liberal judges? A total unmitigated disaster.
Vouchers

Orlando, FL

#17 Feb 26, 2008
Factorial wrote:
I have to object to the wording in your opening title that implies that these lawsuits "taught whites equality". You don't teach anybody or anythig but hatreds and resentments by bringing lawsuits and getting up in their faces. Segregation was forced in by Federal laws at the point of a gun, not by anything these people did or didn't do.
Nobody need feel proud about the sordid history of slavery or the following era after abolition of slavery. The way integration should have come about was by beginning school integration in the first grade long ago and not dropping it all across all grades like an avalanche. The northern states need not feel so goody goody when the percentages of blacks in their populations were tiny compared to having in some cases 50% down here in the South. You cannot compare integration in the North in most areas with that in the South. True, in big cities, the percentages were as high but for the most part, many schools so called integrated in the North meant they had 2-3 negroes in the entire school and they were more likely to be from better homes and parents with good educations.
The problems in our schools arose because we frankly didn't make schools equal and we didn't do anything until we were forced to. I hate to say it, but it is true. We weren't "bad people" we just carried on like our parents did, and accepted the status quo as normal. I still maintain, and will maintain till my dying day that most ethnic groups prefer to mix in their own environment. Educators now are seeing the value of keeping boys and girls separated even. I think all parents, regardless of race, don't like to see their children being bussed miles away from their neighborhoods. I think we should have and could have done a lot differeently and better without having the Federal government heavyhandedly come down on us and much sooner.
Money has nothing to do with educational achievement. If black teachers and administrators wanted to be like the white schools they would have.

They were probably glad to be free of that burden and they were allowed to do as they pleased. Much more personalized education than the crap kids have shoved down their throat today.
Vouchers

Orlando, FL

#18 Feb 26, 2008
WOW wrote:
I noticed the Slantinel deleted your other two postings I didn't see any offensive language, just you defending your dad's image
why do you think the sentinel removed your comments?
Think they should be embarrased?
If they did not misquote anyone, why should they have removed those?
I lived through it. It was hell on earth.
EMRIL LA JENKINS

Clermont, FL

#19 Feb 27, 2008
REMEMBER....BLACKS ARE HIRED ON THE BASIS OF SKIN COLOR NOT EXPERIENCE BUT SKIN COLOR....THE GUBERMENT DEMANDS WE USE HIRING QUOTAS.....IF IT WAS NOT FOR THE WHITES, YOU WOULD HAVE NO BLACK HISTORY MONTH...REMEMBER THAT!
Logical

Mulberry, FL

#20 Feb 27, 2008
EMRIL LA JENKINS wrote:
REMEMBER....BLACKS ARE HIRED ON THE BASIS OF SKIN COLOR NOT EXPERIENCE BUT SKIN COLOR....THE GUBERMENT DEMANDS WE USE HIRING QUOTAS.....IF IT WAS NOT FOR THE WHITES, YOU WOULD HAVE NO BLACK HISTORY MONTH...REMEMBER THAT!
And if wasn't for the British you'd have no America.

If it wasn't for the "whites" the Native Americans might still have a country.

If it wasn't for inbreeding we wouldn't have you.

What's your point? I take it you're not a big 'history' fan.
Titan Rules

Orlando, FL

#26 Feb 27, 2008
Logical wrote:
<quoted text>
And if wasn't for the British you'd have no America.
If it wasn't for the "whites" the Native Americans might still have a country.
If it wasn't for inbreeding we wouldn't have you.
What's your point? I take it you're not a big 'history' fan.
Well actually we were British citizens before we became independent Americans.

Christopher Columbus discovered America and he sailed under Spain’s flag. I believe he himself was Portuguese.

The Native Americans fought a war. It may have been forced on them but they still fought the war. They lost. Just like the Mexicans in 1846-1848. They lost.

What I am getting at is it’s not like they were passive participants sitting around smoking their dope in their peace pipe when out of the blue a bunch of white guys kill them.

You’re just as uninformed and ignorant as the previous poster.

The bigotry against whites on the left lives on and grows.
Titan Rules

Orlando, FL

#27 Feb 27, 2008
Or Italian.
Shocked educator

Orlando, FL

#28 Feb 27, 2008
The Orlando sentinel series on the strugle for desegregation in Orlando is very well done. We sometimes forget that we have our own struggle in central Florida. The timeing of the series is appropriate for two reasons, one because we are honoring black history month and two it comes a week after the Orange County Commission affirmed racism still exists in central florida. We still have a huge gap between the conditions and resources of predominately black schools and predominately white schools. We won the battle, but we did not win the war. The fact that people are still having the conversations listed above proves this. The fact that elected officials in the year 2008 are perpetuating racism is outragious and something we should all be ashamed of.
John P Ellis II

Lake Mary, FL

#30 Feb 27, 2008
To the bozos at the Slantinel, my Mother's nam is Audrey, NOT THELMA!(7th picture in the gallery)
There's NO ONE named Thelma in the Ellis family!
You not only insulted my family in your article, now you've made up a person. Whoever the new owner of the Sentinel is, GET YOUR MONEY BACK!
Journey

Orlando, FL

#31 Feb 27, 2008
My goodness the white people NOW NOW have nothing to do with the British bringing over slaves 200 yrs ago, my God black men r the highest pay persons in sports and team owners and rappers my Doctor is black and i love him(NOT LIKE THAT).The list goes on and on but other black leaders keep bringing you down down...why is that? I'LL tell you if a white women goes for a job in a man's world, a black man would get the job before the white women just because hes a man.
And so it goes

United States

#33 Feb 27, 2008
Del wrote:
'I lived a life wanting to go to Jones High School'
Thank you for exposing a racist.
It's ironic her mother was part of the lawsuit, but she obviously wanted to be segregated. Great comment on her character that she first lied to switch schools and then was rude and disrespectful to white teachers.

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