A Girl Stands at the Door
Before Brown v. Board of Education, there was Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher. Her successful challenge of segregation at the University of Oklahoma laid the foundation for Brown in 1949. More than a decade later, in New Orleans, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first African-American child to integrate an elementary school in the South.
So it went from the late ’40s to the mid-1960s as families pushed for the integration of elementary, junior, and high schools in Missouri and Oklahoma, in Texas, Louisiana, and across the Jim Crow South. Most of those challenges, like Brown, revolved around African-American girls.
Rutgers University historian Rachel Devlin examines this underappreciated aspect of civil rights history in a discussion of her new book A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America's Schools. The event is co-presented by Rainy Day Books.