October 14 Wellspring Program: Personal memories of New Orleans public school integration

Robin E. Kitson will share what she clearly remembers from desegregation at William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans. In that time white supremacy ruled the South. Little Rock Arkansas desegregated in 1957 and closed their schools. New Orleans was pushed by politicians to do the same. School principals decided against it and on Nov 14, 1960 Robin stood in front of her school along with 500 to 1000 angry white people protesting. Robin was 10 yrs old and in foster care, and was doing what she had been taught to do. When the car pulled up and a small black child stepped out, chaos ensued and Robin’s heart sank. She clearly heard a voice inside her head “Never will you act like this again.” 23 other black children started to go back to Frantz but they were met with such ferocity only 2 children stayed on. Robin didn’t know the name of that little girl until 1998 when she learned it was Ruby Bridges. Robin has been telling the story that changed her life for 50 yrs. She has investigated the times and politics and found her neighborhood was picked for integration due to the ignorance and poverty of its residents.