Guy Family Reunion 2024
The Memphis 13

 
Clarence Edward Williams
Clarence Edward Williams
Clarence Edward Williams was one of The Memphis 13 who integrated the Memphis City School System on October 13, 1961.


 

The Memphis 13 are the group of young children who integrated the schools of Memphis, TN. On October 3, 1961, 13 African-American first grade students were enrolled in schools that were previously all white. The schools that the students attended were Bruce, Gordon, Rozelle, and Springdale elementary schools.[1]

The students attended the following schools: Bruce Elementary (Dwania Kyles, Harry Williams, Michael Willis); Gordon Elementary (Alvin Freeman, Sharon Malone, Sheila Malone, Pamela Mayes); Rozelle Elementary (Joyce Bell, E.C. Freeman, Leandrew Wiggins, Clarence Williams); Springdale Elementary (Deborah Ann Holt; Jacqueline Moore).[2]

When these students desegregated Memphis City Schools there was no violence like the violence witnessed in other parts of the South. There was neither a great deal of news coverage nor a great deal of public discussion about what was going on. Rev. Samuel Kyles was the chairman of the local NAACP's education committee at the time noted that the decision to use first-graders instead of high school students was intentional. Kyles believed that first graders were not tainted and therefore were better suited to integrate the schools.

 

Clarence Edward Williams (front row in white jacket)






 
Clarence Edward Williams in whte jacket





 





 
Clarence Edward Williams (ftont row in white jacket)




 
THE MEMPHIS 13




 
Rozelle Elementary School
Rozelle Elementary School
Rozelle Elementary School
Rozelle Elementary School
Rozelle Elementary School
The Memphis 13 
Rozelle Elementary School
Bruce Elementary School
Bruce Elementary School
The Memphis 13
Bruce Elementary School
Springdale Elementary School
Springdale Elementary School
The Memphis 13
Springdale Elementary School
Clarence Williams - second child from the left
Clarence Williams - second child from the left