In 1954, an Ohio town became the setting for the first Northern desegregation case testing the ruling by the Supreme Court.

That’s when a group of “Marching Mothers,” began a two-year protest. Every day they took their children by the hand and walked them to the Hillsboro Elementary School only to be refused entrance. This protest caught the attention of Thurgood Marshall, fresh from the Brown v. Board of Education victory, who sent one of his chief strategists, Constance Baker Motley, along with the NAACP, to Hillsboro to represent the mothers in the first test case in the North. Eventually the Marching Mothers won their fight and Hillsboro Elementary School became integrated.

Read the Pathways article here.

With a grant from Ohio Humanities, the Highland County Historical Society created a permanent exhibition and a 10-minute video based on collected oral histories.

Watch this newscast about the exhibition, featuring interviews with women who marched for desegregation in the Hillsboro schools, here:


The Lincoln School Story: A Battle for School Integration in Ohio is a short documentary film which tells the inspiring story of the five courageous African American mothers and their children, who fought for school integration in 1954, in Hillsboro, Ohio.

Watch the trailer for the video here:

Trailer for The Lincoln School Story – The Battle for School Segregation in Ohio from Torrice Media on Vimeo.