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York’s West Princess Street in 1950s: ‘I knew there was something special about that area’

The 300 block of West Princess Street in York, Pa., seen in this 2001 photograph in the York Sunday News, was the childhood home of numerous achievers. Panelists at an upcoming Black History Month event will discuss growing up in the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. Also of interest: All black history posts from the start and On Second Saturdays: ‘It’s really cool that the Heritage Trust started this program’ and Civil rights heroes stand out at Bradley exhibit.
An evening for the public to explore what it was about life in the 300 block of West Princess Street in post-World War II York that produced so many achievers is set for Saturday, Feb. 27.
A panel of those who grew up in that predominantly black neighborhood will highlight the event, starting at 5 p.m., at the York County Heritage Trust, 250 E. Market St., York.
Judge Marie White Bell, featured in a Feb. 18, 2001, York Sunday New article, will be one of those panelists.
That story began:

“Growing up in the 300 block of West Princess Street in the first generation after World War II, Marie White Bell recalls knowing she was living in a better world than most black children in York City.”
” ‘I knew we were different – I knew there was something special about that area,’ ” she said.

York businessman Michael Newsome and I will moderate the panel and a reception will follow at this free event. (For disclosure, I’m a member of the York County Heritage Trust board.)
As part of the evening, York City Human Relations Executive Director Stephanie Seaton will also explain the mural, ‘Civil Rights Heroes of York,” on display in the Heritage Trust meeting room, where the event will take place.
Here’s an explanation of the neighborhood from my “Almost Forgotten:”

Stephanie Terry, a first-grade teacher at Ashburton Elementary School, Baltimore, earns a $25,000 national award (in 1998).
The honors from the Milken Family Foundation recognize the York native’s work in raising reading scores and her emphasis on science in reading and writing class work. Four Maryland teachers and 152 instructors in America earn the award.
Terry, a 28-year teacher in urban schools, is one of many achievers who grew up in the close-knit black neighborhood of the 300 block of West Princess Street.
Julia Hines-Harris, former assistant superintendent, York City Schools; Dorothy King, assistant professor, Penn State Harrisburg; Marie White Bell, superior court judge, Mount Holly, N.J., Virginia Hunter, longtime first-grade teacher, York City schools; and Ernest E. Herzog, school superintendent, Portland Ore., also grew up in the neighborhood.

Dr. Dorothy King and Dr. Hines-Harris will join Judge Bell on the Feb. 27 panel.
Also of interest:
All black history posts from the start.