Photo: On May 4, 2022 the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, Inc. and development partner Alembic Community Development celebrated the Ribbon Cutting of the Tate Etienne & Prevost Center. Programming partners and building tenants, the People’s Institute for Survival & Beyond and the Beloved Community also shared in this exciting occasion.
On Nov. 14, 1960, Tessie Prevost’s mother Dorothy Prevost stayed at home and watched local broadcast news accounts of her daughter and three other six-year old Black girls desegregating two local public schools that day, she says. Her husband accompanied their daughter, along with U.S. Marshalls, to school, instead.
From home on television, she saw the angry mobs and admits to being “terrified” as the day unfolded. She “didn’t know what to expect”, she told a crowd gathered on Wednesday, May 4 in front of the former McDonough 19 school — the very campus her daughter desegregated nearly 62 years ago, along with Leona Tate and Gail Etienne.
Dorothy Prevost may not have know what was going to happen that day at McDonogh 19 School, but it’s safe to assume she could have never imagined that she would be standing in front of the same building 62 years later to celebrate the building’s new name and purpose — the Tate Etienne Prevost (TEP) Center.
“I have been around a long time,” she says. “I am 90. I have seen some things I thought I would never see.”