Youngest Pioneers of Civil Rights Movement Celebrated on 60th Anniversary of the ‘Memphis 13’

(Left to Right) Sheila Malone-Conway, Memphis 13 alum; Sharon Malone, Memphis 13 alum; Dwania Kyles, Memphis 13 alum and Civil Rights Advocate; and Dr. Joris M. Ray, Superintendent of Shelby County Schools inside of the History Room at Bruce Elementary discussing the impact of the Memphis 13 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo/Gary Whitlow)

The forming of the Memphis 13 Foundation was announced recently at a press conference at Bruce Elementary, which is one of the original schools that was integrated 60 years ago.

Leaders of the Memphis community came together to foster the peaceful integration of the Memphis City public schools by the “Memphis 13” on October 3, 1961, who at that time were 5- and 6-year-old African American boys and girls, the youngest pioneers in the Civil Rights Movement. October 3 also marks the 10th Anniversary of the release of The Memphis 13 documentary.

Speakers included Dwania Kyles, Civil Rights Advocate and “Memphis 13” alum; Deborah Northcross, Lead Plaintiff, Northcross et al v Board of Education of Memphis, Tennessee; Dr. Joris M. Ray, Superintendent of Shelby County Schools; Myke Collins, Executive Director of Equity and Diversity Office, Shelby County Schools;  Rev. Dr. LaSimba Gray, Pastor Emeritus of New Sardis Baptist Church and local Historical Consultant, City of Memphis; Dr. Archie Moss, Jr., School Design Partner of Transcend; Rosalind Withers, Founder, Withers Collection Museum and Gallery; and Daniel Kiel, Director of The Memphis 13 documentary.

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SOURCE: EUR Web, Billie Jordan Sushine