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The story of the first child to integrate a public school in the U.S.

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Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Susie Clark: The Bravest Girl You've Ever Seen tells the story of the 13-year-old girl and her family who desegregated Iowa schools nearly a century before Brown v. The Board of Education.

The story of desegregating Iowa schools often centers on Alexander Clark, but a new children's book pulls focus to his daughter, Susan Clark, who at 13 years old was the first Black student to integrate a public school in the United States.

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with author Joshalyn “Rocki” Hickey-Johnson and illustrator Hayle Calvin about the book.

Before that, Nebbe speaks with Keith Porter, president and CEO of the Stanley Center for Peace and Security, as well as Krista Regennitter who leads their global education programming. The Center, founded in Muscatine in 1956, published and presented the Susie Clark book and works globally to mitigate climate change and prevent mass violence and atrocities.

To purchase the book or read a free ebook version, visit


  • Keith Porter, president and CEO, Stanley Center for Peace and Security
  • Krista Regennitter, program officer of global education programming, Stanley Center for Peace and Security
  • Joshalyn “Rocki” Hickey-Johnson, co-host of North End Update, author of Susie Clark: The Bravest Girl You’ve Ever Seen
  • Hayle Calvin, artist, and illustrator of Susie Clark
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.