Oliver Hill died Sunday at the blessed age of 100.
In 1954 Hill participated in a series of cases that evolved into Brown v. Board of Education. When the dust of legal arguments settled, America was faced with the notion of integrated education. For the rest of his life, Oliver Hill witnessed this country wrestle with integration…battled against integration…dance around integration…and integrate by force, with soldiers lining the walkways leading to the doors of public schools.
Both of my parents attended segregated and then desegregated schools. They struggled to overcome years of inadequate education and the resentment that resulted from knowing their education was anything but equal.
I was raised knowing that many battles were waged on my behalf and feeling the responsibility that comes from being blessed with opportunities so many were denied.
So I pause today and remember Oliver Hill and those who battled with him so that I could go to school and get an education.
And I pray for the strength the continue their work, because this nation is still making a mess of the math...still comfortable with the policy of have and have not…still questioning education as a right…and still not making the grade.
Oliver Hill has passed on.
This legacy is ours…