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The Milford School Desegregation Crisis of 1954

Date Posted: Friday, January 24th, 2014
Categories:  Delaware Public Archives

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In honor of African American History Month, the Delaware Public Archives will present a special program to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education case on Saturday, February 1, 2014, 10:30 a.m. Following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Brown v. Board of Education in May 1954, Milford High School attempted to integrate the following fall with the admittance of eleven African American students. Within a short time, the nation’s media focused on this Delaware town as it suffered through school boycotts and the arrival of a white racist organizer named Bryant Bowles. This program will be presented by Orlando Camp, one of eleven students who attempted to integrate the school and the co-author of “The Milford Eleven,” a book about the journey of these eleven African American students.

Orlando Camp’s education began in integrated school systems in Philadelphia and Swarthmore Pennsylvania. He moved to Milford, Delaware as a young teenager and attended the all-black Benjamin Banneker Elementary School in Milford. Camp earned his high school diploma from William Henry Comprehensive High School in Dover. After serving in the United States Army where he received the Outstanding Soldier of the Year award, he continued his education at Delaware County Community College and Temple University. Camp enjoyed a long, successful sales and marketing management career working for Scott Paper Company, Birds Eye Food, Stanson Corporation and the State of Delaware.

In 2009, Camp was selected to be on stage at an event with President-elect Barack Obama in Wilmington, Delaware. He now spends his time working with students with special needs.

The program is free to the public. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail thomas.summers@state.de.us.

The Delaware Public Archives is located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North in Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. On the second Saturday of every month the research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Orlando Camp

Orlando Camp

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