The Memphis 13/Gordon Elementary School
Former students Sharon Malone and Sheila Malone of The Memphis 13 visit Gordon Achievement Academy
The first African-American students to enroll in Gordon Elementary School were Sharon Malone, Sheila Malone, Pamela Mayes, and Alvin Freeman. They were chosen in part because they lived closer to traditionally white schools than to African-American schools where they otherwise would have been assigned. "Gordon was two blocks from our house," said Sharon Malone. "All we had to do was cross one street to get to Gordon. We had to go 13 blocks to get to Klondike." Her twin sister, Sheila Malone Conway, remembered how soon the ending of segregation in the city schools was forgotten. "It's sad that this happened in Memphis and the people don't know." As for follow-up from those who had selected them, Conway recalled only a Christmas party. "You did something to change this city, and they should have followed up to see how we're doing. It's just the fact that we were forgotten." Also to be remembered are the dedicated parents of these students: Mary Elizabeth Malone, Henryene Mayes, and Ozell Freeman.