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|SOUTHEASTERN CHANNEL LOOKS BACK AT DESEGREGATION IN
HAMMOND -- Area residents' memories
of an historic moment in Tangipahoa Parish history will be the focus of
a Southeastern Channel special, “Desegregation in Tangipahoa Parish,”
scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 20, on Charter Communications
Cable Channel 18.
The show is part of a series
on African American Heritage Month airing in February on Southeastern's
educational access channel. The springboard of the program is a recent
university lecture by Hammond native Wayne Brumfield, vice president for
student affairs at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Brumfield
researched Tangipahoa Parish desegregation for his master's thesis as a
graduate student in Southeastern's history program.
Racial tensions and protests of the
1960s spilled over into Tangipahoa Parish in 1967 when Federal Judge
Alvin Rubin of New Orleans, ruling on the lawsuit of Moore vs. the
Tangipahoa Parish School Board, charged the board with integrating parish
schools. The program examines the board’s efforts to integrate despite
protests from local citizens. It also re-creates the tense atmosphere as
cross-town bussing and full desegregation began in the fall of 1969.
The show also touches on the perspectives
of black and white students and teachers thrown into the cauldron of racial
tension and how they worked to achieve harmony over the years without serious
“The special highlights a tense and critical
moment in parish history,” said Rick Settoon, director of the Southeastern
Channel. “It was the time of a sudden, painful growth spurt in the
public school system. The program shows how students, teachers and
parents of both races persevered and actually came together through the
Among area residents interviewed are
Brumfield, Hammond veterinarian and civic leader Dr. J.L. Garrett, and
former Hammond High Students Vivian Addison and Barbara Carroll Forrest.
Also featured are former school board member Allen Bankston and Al Link,
a Hammond High School teacher in 1969 who later served as the school's
principal and currently is president of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board.
For additional information, contact
the Southeastern Channel at 985-549-2418.
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