Denise Best


Thompson, Anique

Interview Date



school desegregation




Denise Best (born 1953) discusses her involvement as a plaintiff parent in the Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case in Hartford, Connecticut, and offers her reflections on the compromises required during the remedy phase. She describes her experience as a black woman growing up a racially diverse neighborhood in Boston, where she opposed busing for integration, and how her views changed after relocating to Hartford in 1980. She also recounts her reasons, as a mother and educator, for moving her daughter from a Hartford public school to a suburban private school, then to a suburban Catholic school. Best also discusses her connection to the Sheff lawyers through the ONE/CHANE organization, her work with the Hartford Police to eliminate drug dealing in her neighborhood, and being grandparent of children in magnet schools, her retirement from Trinity College and current role at the Christian Activities Council


Submitted as part of the OnTheLine web-book by Jack Dougherty and colleagues (


Copyright: Held by Best, and shared under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, which means that the public may freely copy, modify, and share these items for non-commercial purposes under the same terms, if the original source information is included.

BestDenise_photoAniqueThompson20110810.JPG (1608 kB)
photo of Denise Best (on right) with interview Anique Thompson

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