For this year’s Black History Month celebration, the Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators (WABSE) in partnership with the City School District of New Rochelle again looks back at CSDNR history, marking 60 years since the landmark Lincoln School desegregation decision.
The ninth annual celebration, usually held in New Rochelle High School, will be presented virtually this year. It will be free and accessible on the www.nred.org home page. The celebration and exhibit opens on Feb. 27, 2021.
As with the previous celebrations, it will feature student created visual art, spoken word, drama, dance, music, poetry and a virtual African arts market place. Its title will be: “A Celebration of Our Schools: A 60-Year Retrospective of the Lincoln School Decision.”
Participating students from across the District “are encouraged to learn about the Lincoln School Decision of 1961 and about others who struggled for educational justice,” reads a brochure for the event from the organizers, the Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators and the New Rochelle Black History Month Committee. The organizers are seeking submissions for the event by Feb. 22, 2021.
There are several other events planned in the city from January through May and brought to the community by New Rochelle Council on the Arts, the Iona Council on the Arts and the Lincoln Park Conservancy, Inc. and their exhibit Struggle, A 60-Year Commemoration of the Lincoln School Decision.
“This year’s theme will once again bring the community together as we commemorate this important New Rochelle history,” said WABSE President Candace Pinn, who is also a kindergarten teacher at Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center. “The court decision of 1961 continues to be debated and impacts the lives of our students and community today.”
The landmark court case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961, seven years after the more widely known Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka, which was decided in 1954. In the New Rochelle case, the nation’s top court let stand a lower court decision agreeing with plaintiffs that the school’s enrollment was almost entirely Black as a result of deliberate segregation. The Lincoln School was torn down in 1963, but its attendance boundaries have never been redrawn. Instead, students who live in the Lincoln School zone are allowed to attend one of four other CSDNR schools based on preference and availability.