Community honors Ensley HS desegregation pioneer - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

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Community honors Ensley HS desegregation pioneer

( Source: Judson Garner / WBRC ) ( Source: Judson Garner / WBRC )
( Source: Judson Garner / WBRC ) ( Source: Judson Garner / WBRC )
( Source: Judson Garner / WBRC ) ( Source: Judson Garner / WBRC )
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Have you ever heard of Carolyn Houston?

She was the first black graduate of Ensley High School in 1965, a historically all-white school.

Family, friends and members of the community recognized her contributions while at the Bethesda Life Center Sunday night.

"In her senior year she decided to go to Ensley High School," Janice Nixon, Carolyn's Sister, said.

Janice had a hard time finding her sister in the archives. She was not pictured in the yearbook, her only presence was written in the honors section.

Ensley High School was all white when Carolyn decided to go.

There was another young African American there by the name of Allen Dunn, who was younger than Carolyn.

"That transition was more than I can even tell you," she said.

"She endured a lot of pain. She endured name calling. Dead rats being thrown on her. Clorox being sprayed on her daily. Tacks being put in her seat and, of course, every kind of bad word you can call," she continued.

Janice decided to recognize her sister when she was at Ensley High School reunion and found that no knew who her sister was.

"She made of difference. She was young. She was fourteen years old marching on the children's crusade, arrested for freedom, and she never boasted about it. She never bragged about it. She did what she believed in her heart to do," she said.

A display was set up at the event revealing the life journey of Carolyn Houston.

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