Virtual tribute spotlights champions of GHS integration

They are known as the G3.

Three students who attended Gainesville High School and forever changed its policy by standing up for themselves and demanding to be treated equally in the halls of their high school.

Today, as part of the GHS Second Annual African Diaspora History Fair that was organized by Alachua County Teacher of the Year Nicole Harris and students from her African and African American History classes, the G3 were recognized and given a chance to speak about their experiences back in the 1950s.

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The G3 are Dr. LaVon Bracy, Sandra Williams Cummings and the late Joel Buchanan.

In the hour-long event students made remarks, played music, danced, and recited speeches, and muralist Jenna Horner revealed portraits she painted of each of the G3 members.


Bracy thanked all of the participants and said it was wonderful to see progress.

“Fifty-six years ago I was a senior at GHS,” Bracy said. “I was verbally, mentally and physically abused just for wanting to get an education.”

She told students to do their best, because “others behind you are depending on you to be successful.”

Cummings acknowledged that GHS has made progress in how students are accepted. She also praised Harris for being a role model.

“What a wonderful example in your teacher who is not afraid to show what Black history is all about,” she said. “We have to keep telling the story over and over and over again to make sure people know we are proud of our history.”

“Get that education,” Cummings said to the students. “It’s so very important.”

Elliott Buchanan, who graduated from GHS in 1992, made comments on behalf of his uncle, Joel Buchanan.

“Uncle Joel taught me about what he went through,” he said as he got emotional.

“Even today, I still read up on some of his interviews. It’s amazing what all of you went through,” he said to Cummings and Bracy. “You were courageous.”

GHS Principal David Shelnutt said he could not imagine what the G3 went through as students: “We are better because of your leadership.”

When muralist Jenna Horner revealed a portrait of each G3 member, she read off words that she said defined her subjects.

“Warrior, perseverance, tenacity, confidence, progress, strength, heroic, determination, faith, hope,” she said.

Horner, also a GHS grad, said she captured the G3 at the age they were when they attended GHS. At the bottom of each portrait Horner put a phrase. As paintings of the G3 sat lined up on easels across the classroom, they read, “Be Brave, Be Kind, Be You.”


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