Brown v. Board at 65 — Anderson Neff Recalls a Peaceful First Day of School Integration: ‘The White Kids Were as Unsure as to How to Behave as I Was’
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BY CAROL ANDERSON NEFF

“On Thursday, September 4, 1952. I became one of 11 black students and 274 white students to attend a public Delaware high school. Delaware was the first state to initiate school desegregation, two years ahead of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, and I was in the middle of it.

Grandma Dyson prepared her handful of black students who would be going to the all-white Claymont High School, along with us so that they would know what to expect and to adjust better. I never realized just how important that was and how valuable she and my parents were to that important 1954 landmark decision called Brown v. the Board of Education.

When Grandma Dyson retired a few years later, she was named Woman of the Year. I hope that the little one-room schoolhouse on the top of the hill is still there. It should be a state monument. It will be in my heart forever.

For those who need a refresher course, in accepting the 11 black students to enter an all-white Claymont High School, Mr. Harvey E. Stahl, Claymont’s superintendent of schools, defied state law and changed the course of United States history.”

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