Skip to main content
ODU Libraries Online Exhibitions

LaVera Forbes

LaVera Forbes

LaVera Forbes attended Norview Jr. High School on February 2, 1959 as a 7th grader.

Like other Norfolk 17 members, LaVera blotted out a lot from that era because it was so painful. It is still painful to remember and painful to talk about.

At a 2004 program* honoring the Norfolk 17, LaVera recalled that she was actually stabbed in the back on one of her first days of school -- something that she only recently started talking about. Her father took her to the emergency room, but he and the lawyers told her she couldn't talk about it to anyone for fear of ruining chances of desegregation. So she held it in all these years.

She remembers how her "own people turned their backs" -- in the neighborhood, people wouldn't speak to her, would close their doors as she walked by. Old friends were forbidden to play with her.

After high school, LaVera attended Norfolk State University. She lives in Norfolk, where she worked in a bank until 2004. She attends many of the events honoring the Norfolk 17 and can be seen in WHRO's The Norfolk 17: Their Story

-------------------------------
* May 16, 2004, "Celebrating the Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education: Then and Now," Chrysler Museum
-------------------------------