Milford Eleven Will Receive Honorary Diplomas

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During the School Board meeting on February, 27 the Milford School Board unanimously approved the issuance of honorary degrees for the participants in the Milford 11 group. The students referred to as the Milford 11 are students who attended the Milford School District in 1954, but did not continue their education and graduate from Milford due to civil rights disorder and protests.

The story of the Milford 11 has been brought to light recently through Orlando Camp, author of the book “The Milford Eleven” and one of the students who attended the Milford High School during this period. Speaking to State legislators, residents and students of Milford, Mr. Camp told the story of eleven children from the Milford area that attended the All-African American Benjamin Banneker School until 1954 when the Brown vs. The Board of Education ruling struck down the Plessy vs. Ferguson separate but equal doctrine.

Dubbed the Milford Eleven by national media of the time period, eleven classmates became some of the first African American students to attend a previously all-white school. Ultimately, Milford proved unready to join other schools around the nation that successfully integrated. Under rising tensions and threats of violence, the African-American students were withdrawn from the school after attending for less than a month.

The students known as the Milford 11 will receive honorary diplomas at this year’s 2012 Milford High School Graduation Ceremonies in May. Honorary diplomas will also be given to the families of those individuals who are unable to accept the honor.