Samaria Bailey is a civil rights figure from Macon, Ga., who was the first Black girl to integrate an all-white, all-female high school in 1964. Ms. Bailey was also among the first Black women to enroll at Mercer University, and went on to have a stellar career as a medical technologist. Bailey was born Samaria Mitcham on June 29, 1947.
She was the second-oldest of ten children. Her father was a cook in Macon and her mother was a housewife who went back to school and graduated from Wesleyan College when her children were grown. Bailey was among the select group of Black students handpicked by Mercer University Men’s Dean Joseph Hendricks to integrate A.L. Miller High and the Lanier High School for Boys.
Hendricks could have been inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s campaign pledge in 1960 to do more for African-American students. Along with a friend, Dean Hendricks…
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