In 1965, Carolyn Houston Crumbley Major became the first African-American graduate of Ensley High School. Producer Mary Quintas spoke with Carolyn's son, Rafaael Crumbley, and sister, Janice Houston Nixon, about Carolyn's contributions as an integration pioneer - and what her legacy means today.
For the 50th anniversary of her graduation from Ensley High School, Carolyn’s family held an event in her honor, and performed songs that represented both her hardships and triumphs. Carolyn’s son, Rafaael Crumbley, says, “Music was an important part of my mother's life. And I think singing was a part of that whole (Civil Rights) era where people connected through music, and that sense of community.”
Carolyn's sister, Janice Houston Nixon, and Janice's daughter Kimberly sang one of Carolyn's favorite songs: "I Can See So Much."
Carolyn’s brother-in-law, Reverend Donald Nixon, performed with his singing group, The Birmingham Male Chorus (Clifton Mayfield, James Davis, Marcello Frazier, and Jeffrey Cotter).