Florida High honors two trailblazing graduates who helped integrate the school
Florida State University Schools, better known as “Florida High,” will close out its Black History Month observations Friday morning by recognizing two trailblazing graduates.
体育在线365Being honored as the first two black students to integrate the school in 1964 are Mahlon Rhaney Jr. and the late Keith Neyland.
体育在线365Rhaney, along with Neyland’s daughter, will address students during a ceremony. There also will be a dedication to Neyland and Rhaney for their important role in the school’s history.
体育在线365Both men went on to earn law degrees.
体育在线365The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 8 a.m. Friday at the school, 3000 School House Road in Southwood.
Rhaney also will talk after the ceremony with students about his experience at the school.
体育在线365FSUS junior Asia Alexander, a community youth leader, brought the idea to administration and spearheaded the event, the school said in a release.
“Students, particularly African American students, should know about those who blazed the path for us to have the school we have today,” said Alexander, president of the NAACP Youth Council of Tallahassee.
“These men experienced adversity as teens, but they became models of resiliency and strength. They both went on to have very successful careers as attorneys, and their story should not be forgotten.”
体育在线365Alexander learned about the two men when she came across Neyland’s book “Evolution of an Integrationist: My Navigation through Race Relations & Maturation 1964-1968.” In the book, Neyland recounts his involvement in integrating Florida High and his experience as one of the few African American students at the school.
He and Rhaney transferred together from the all-black FAMU High to the all-white Florida High.
体育在线365Neyland went on to earn a football scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. After completing his undergraduate degree, he entered the University of Pittsburgh Law School, earning his law degree in 1975.
After working as a labor arbitrator on the Board of Arbitration for U.S. Steel and the United States Steelworkers, he taught at the Florida A&M University College of Law, before retiring in 2014.
体育在线365Rhaney went on to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1972 and earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard University in 1977.
Contact senior writer Byron Dobson at email@example.com or on Twitter @byrondobson.
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