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Geraldine Talley

Geraldine Talley

Geraldine Talley was the only black student to enter Northside Jr. High School in 1959. She was 12 years old, entering the 7th grade.

She was an extremely brave girl. At a 50th Anniversary program of Brown v. Board in 2004*, Geraldine said that what she endured was awful. She commented that she would be filled with nothing but hatred if it weren’t for a white girl, Diane, who was nice to her. Diane was from a military family.

Talley was originally from New Jersey and couldn't understand what was happening in Norfolk. She has spoken about how even her teachers ignored her in middle school. When she went to Granby High School, however, an art teacher who recognized her talent took her under his wings and helped her.

Geraldine graduated from Granby High School in 1963, graduated from Norfolk State University, and taught art. She married and became Geralding Talley Hobby, and is now widowed.

Geraldine says she is writing a book about the six years she lived with the pain and suffering of integration. She attends many of the events honoring the Norfolk 17 in the belief that people need to know about this time in Norfolk's history. 

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