PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Some Philadelphia high school students have won approval for a historical maker to commemorate the pivotal 1967 student walkout.
It’s an event that will be commemorated by a state historical marker, thanks to five students who will be seniors this fall at Masterman High School.
On Nov. 17, 1967, thousands of students marched on school headquarters, with demands including an African American history course and more Black teachers. Then-police Commissioner Frank Rizzo ordered baton-wielding officers to confront the crowd.
African American history became a Philly graduation requirement in 2005, and Masterman senior Alison Fortenberry learned of the protest a year ago.
“A lot of Philadelphians don’t even know that this happened. I didn’t know that it happened until I took the African American history course in 10th grade. And so we want people who are walking by to learn about this,” Fortenberry said.
She and four classmates submitted a 104-page application for a marker to the state Historical and Museum Commission that was approved in March.
Fortenberry says it’s hoped the marker can be dedicated near the former School Administration Building at 21st and Winter Streets sometime this fall.
Students raised the $2,200 to cover the cost of the marker.