Born and raised in Greenville Park in Hammond, Eric Dangerfield has exceeded the expectations of the average man coming from his side of town. He went from just a member of the neighborhood to a voice for the community. He now serves on the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, along with running several other businesses he has started.
Dangerfield’s family didn’t have a whole lot when he was growing up, but they valued their education. Dangerfield attended public schools as a child. He went on to play football for Hammond High School. He entered Southern University in 1971, off of a football scholarship.
“Segregation was just starting to subside around the time I entered college. More people were being granted access to colleges,” stated Dangerfield. Seeking a degree in general studies, Dangerfield started to take interests in people and issues going on in society. That is when he decided to change his major to sociology.
After obtaining a BS in sociology, a masters in social sciences, and a degree in paralegal studies, Dangerfield didn’t stop there. Members of his community thought that he should run for school board member to represent District G, which is all Hammond schools. Having education, a personal care agency, and other social services, they felt that he had the people’s best interest at heart.
Since being elected to represent District G in 2007, Dangerfield has been adamant about coming up with a solution to the desegregation case that has been going on since 1969. He has come up with a plan titled “The People’s Plan”, which focuses on trying to improve the schools that already exists in Hammond versus building new schools altogether.
“Hammond High Magnet Program offers culinary and medical courses. Beneficial programs as such will desegregate schools,” stated Dangerfield.
Dangerfield says that it is not just a black and white issue, but an economic issue as well. Mr. Dangerfield believes that all schools should offer four basic things: inclusion, equal access, equal opportunities and accountability to provide the best education available to the parish, in which he does not currently see happening.
Dangerfield does not think that bussing students to different schools based on their address will desegregate schools, which is what the Duncan Plan suggests. He feels that better education options will desegregate the schools. He thinks that coming together as one to reach an agreement will be the best solution or it will go on for forty more years.