A mother escorts her two daughters to Orchid Villa Elementary School in Miami, 1959.
Four black children were admitted to Orchid Villa Elementary School in the fall of 1959. I believe the two girls in this photo are Jan and Irene Glover, ages 9 and 7. Their mother, Irvena Primus, was a Congress of Racial Equality member.
While I think the photo is beautiful and very Obama-esque, this was a failed attempt at integration. Miami was a heavily segregated city. Many white parents chose to transfer their children to other schools rather than attend the same school as four black children. Two months later, the school board voted to transfer nearly 380 black students to the school and replace the existing white personnel with black teachers and administrators. By the end of the year, only one white student remained. The next year, the school was entirely black.
Black schools were notoriously underfunded and overcrowded so the closest thing to a victory in the integration of Orchid Villa Elementary is that it created an additional school for black students. It is also an example of the structural power of pro-segregation officials. There were white parents who were willing to send their children to an integrated school in the beginning, but the transfer of students and personnel was designed to encourage those parents to enroll their children in white schools.
Miami schools were not fully integrated until 1969.