The Fight for Racial Equality In North Carolina Essay

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Plessy vs. Ferguson was a landmark decision passed in 1896 that instituted the practice of 'separate but equal' in American society. The 'separate but equal' doctrine was an oppressive system of racial segregation which greatly lessened the rights of all minorities especially in public education. The fight for educational equality made public schools in North Carolina and other states in the south a major area of conflict. Wilma Peebles-Wilkins noted, 'Upward mobility through the educational structure is in keeping with the desires of post-World War II black Americans to enhance their economic, political, and social statuses.' There were many court cases in which organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of…show more content…
There was a great effort in North Carolina to halt integration. In 1955, Governor Luther H. Hodges reported to the North Carolina General Assembly that ?The mixing of the races forthwith in the public schools throughout the state cannot be accomplished and should not be permitted.? In 1955 the Pupil Assignment Act was passed which ?condemned and protested the Brown decision? . The Pupil Assignment Act was the first of many attempts of the North Carolina Legislature to halt integration. This act authorized local schools to implement administrative procedures regarding school transfers and reassignment request. This attempt was viewed by many citizens as a means to implement token integration. On September 2, 1957 the first public school integration in North Carolina took place in Greensboro. According to Clarence Dean of the New York Times, ?The group comprises one senior high school girl, three junior high school boys and on boy and one girl in elementary school.? Some citizens according to Dean praised the action of the city of Greensboro as a ?sincere, although cautious, effort to begin general integration.? However, others regarded the action of the Greensboro and other cities as ?nothing more than a device? to implement token integration. Kelley M. Alexander noted that ?The number of pupils accepted had been far less than the number who had applied.? The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education
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