In celebration of Black History Month, the Milford Public Library and the Milford Museum are partnering to host Milford native Orlando Camp to speak with the community about his new book, The Milford Eleven. The Milford Eleven is a documentary-style look at the Brown v. Board of Education ruling and the attempt at school integration that took place in Milford in 1954. The book follows the experiences of the first eleven black children to be integrated into the Milford School District and takes a look at community leaders that were both for and against the Supreme Court Ruling supporting school integration.
“Very little people know about this time in Milford history,” commented Mr. Camp. “This book gives readers an understanding of what really happened in 1954 in Milford. It also gives a voice to the Milford Eleven and how they felt about that period of time and how it affected their lives.”
Orlando acknowledges that he has used the experience of school integration in 1954 as a stepping stone for success. After graduating from William Henry Comprehensive High School, Orlando continued his education at Delaware Technical Community College and Temple University. Discharged from the United States Army in 1964, Mr. Camp began a long, successful career in sales including his most recent accomplishment as an economic sales manager for the state of Delaware.
Mr. Camp will deliver a presentation at the Milford Public Library illustrating the history of school integration in Milford after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Ruling. In his book, The Milford Eleven, Orlando is straight forward about the polarization of the small community over this ruling and is not afraid to tell about the hatred that emanated from those opposed to the implementation of school integration. Through his depiction of the events that happened in Milford in 1954, Mr. Camp feels that students today can find strength and purpose in their futures.
“The youth of today can learn from the struggle we had to go through to be successful,” commented Orlando. “My philosophy is that to be successful you have to risk failure. If the struggle of school integration did not take place then the opportunities for many students would not be there today.”
The Milford Public Library will host Orlando Camp Saturday, February 18 at 10 am in the Smith Room located on the first floor of the library. Mr. Camp will give a presentation on his experiences through school integration in Milford and will be available to sign his book afterwards.