Local school gets visit from Civil Rights pioneer Leona Tate

NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, February 25, Civil Rights pioneer Leona Tate will make a special stop at Young Audiences Charter School.

In honor of Black History Month, Leona Tate will tell her courageous and heroic story to a group of middle-schoolers.

Six years after separate black and white schools were ruled unconstitutional in Brown vs Board of Education, Leona Tate joined three other six-year-old girls in integrating into New Orleans public schools.

It was on November 14, 1960, when the McDonogh Three – Leona Tate, Gail Etienne and Tessie Prevost were escorted by U.S. Marshals at the all-white segregated school, called McDonogh No. 19.

On the same fateful morning, another six-year-old girl named Ruby Bridges integrated a second New Orleans public school called William Frantz Elementary.

In 2009, Tate created the Leona Tate Foundation for Change. Her mission is to continue educating the public, in particular young people, on the lessons of Civil Rights and minorities’ struggle for equality.

Right now, the foundation’s main goal is to preserve and re-purpose the McDonogh #19 school as a memorial museum and multi-purpose center in New Orleans, by preserving the building as a memorial site in the fight for equal rights and equal education, create a permanent exhibition that will attract, engage, and educate visitors, develop educational programs that address the needs of the community, and stimulate the depressed economy of the Lower Ninth Ward and serve as a strong community anchor to enhance economic vitality.

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