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Local civil rights pioneer reflects on painful legacy, plans for brighter futures

by The 100 Companies

In 1960, New Orleans first-grader Leona Tate received holiday cards from across the country, offering words of encouragement, admiration and hope. At age 6, she didn’t understand the significance of the messages, but decades later the cards have become meaningful for so many.

That November, Tate, Ruby Bridges, Gail Etiénne and Tessie Prevost – all first-graders – became the first Black students to attend public schools in the Deep South since Reconstruction. They soon became the only students at their schools.

Tate reflected on her legacy, future and those holiday cards in this article and program from The Historic New Orleans Collection.

– Teresa Devlin, The Historic New Orleans Collection

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