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Public schools and public libraries: two stories of integration in Louisiana

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Louisiana Office of Tourism
Ernest McKinley-English, Leona Tate, Tremaine Knighten-Riley, Judge Terri Love, and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser stand next to the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail marker honoring three six-year-old girls who desegregated the school in November 1960.

In 1960, three 6-year-old girls integrated McDonogh 19 Elementary School in New Orleans, escorted by US Marshalls.

Earlier this month, one of those girls, Leona Tate, along with Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser unveiled a historical marker to commemorate this moment in civil rights history. Activist and advocate Tate joined Louisiana Considered to tell us more about her journey, and how her foundation is keeping this story alive.

This year, the New Orleans Public Library celebrated 125 years of serving the community, but not all community members were always welcome in these spaces. Louisiana Considered’s Managing Producer Alana Schreiber spoke with Director of City Archives and Special Collections at New Orleans Public Library, Christina Bryant, and author, educator and librarian Dr. Elaine Adams, to learn more about the city’s library history and the integration of these public buildings.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Karen Henderson. Our producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman, Aubrey Procell, and Thomas Walsh. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Karen Henderson is an award-winning journalist whose stories have aired nationally on NPR.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.