ABFS Black History Month Feature: First Black Students to Integrate GHS

ABFS Black History Month Feature: First Black Students to Integrate GHS

February 16, 2023 – In honor of Black History Month, Santa Fe College’s Association of Black Faculty and Staff (ABFS) will offer information important to SF and the community at large.

This week, the topic is – The G3 – the first three Black students to integrate a high school in Alachua County

In 1964, Gainesville High School was integrated by three students: Dr. Lavon Wright Bracy, Mr. Joseph ”Joel” Buchanan and Ms. Sandra Williams.  

Prior to actions of integration, all Black students in the city of Gainesville attended Lincoln High School (once located at the A. Quinn Jones Center and at the current location of Lincoln Middle School).

Once at GHS, Bracy, Buchanan and Williams were not allowed to eat in the school cafeteria, attend school football games or social events such as “Homecoming” or “Prom.”

“I didn’t know people could hate me without knowing me,” said Buchanan. “They hated me because of the color of my skin.”

Mr. Buchanan graduated from Gainesville High school (1966) with honors, having completed his junior and senior year at GHS. He attended Santa Fe College before transferring to the University of Florida to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He continued to work within the community having taught at Buchholz High, Howard Bishop Middle school, instructed courses as an adjunct professor at Santa Fe College and served as a historian and librarian at the University of Florida. Mr. Buchanan passed away in 2014. Gainesville High School’s, African Diaspora Class is planning to honor the “G3” with a homecoming ceremony for the 2023-2024 school year to honor Dr. Lavon Bracy, the works of Mr. Joseph Buchanan and Mrs. Sandra Williams.

Learn more about their experiences and community contributions, here: