Photo by Carolina Hidalgo /St. Louis Public Radio
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When an acquaintance contacted Judy Gladney to see whether she would be attending their 50th high school reunion, she blew him off. Why bother, she thought. The only other University City High School reunion she went to wasn’t an experience she wanted to revisit. She barely knew anyone there, and almost no other African American alumni attended.
“I always felt like an outsider at U. City,” she said. “I didn’t fit in with the white kids, I didn’t quite fit in with most of the black kids. You’ve got all this teenage angst, you’re trying to find your niche, and where was my niche?”
You won’t find her name in the history books, but Judy, now 67, had been in the first phalanx of African Americans to integrate U. City schools in the mid-1960s. Fifty years later Judy decided to attend her reunion. But she is doing so much more than that. She is sharing her experiences at a public forum at the University City Public Library ... and in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch... on the radio ... online ... and coming soon, in a booklet.
You can get a free copy or PDF of Judy's booklet and others in our racial equity storytelling series by filling out the form below.
Watch this space.
BEFORE FERGUSON BEYOND FERGUSON
Advancing racial equity through the power of storytelling