Desegregation

  • 1955: N.C. Governor Luther Hodges gives a “voluntary segregation” speech in August and later appeals to the all-black North Carolina Teacher’s Association to endorse separate schools.
  • 1955: The Pupil Assignment Act passed. It was used as a tool to block desegregation efforts. In 1956, courts upheld the Act, defining student assignments as an individual matter that precluded any class action suit.
  • 1955-1958: Delegations from Dudley and Lincoln PTA’s (both black schools) attend monthly school board meetings demanding improvements in black school facilities.
  • September 3, 1957: Greensboro becomes the first city in the Southeast to desegregate its all-white public schools when five black children enroll at Gillespie Park School. The children endure heckling, screaming from spectators. The next day, Dudley student, Josephine Boyd integrates Greensboro Senior High when she transfers.
  • 1959: Conservative school boards across N.C. used legal and administrative actions to block desegregation. Only 53 out of 225 black requests for transfer were granted in the entire state.
  • June 1963: Hundreds of demonstrators sit-down in the street at Jefferson Square (Elm and Market St.) to protest against segregated public accommodations. A&T student body president, Jesse Jackson is arrested for 'inciting a riot'.
  • July 11,1963: Dr. Martin Luther King visits Greensboro to show his support for civil rights protests begun by A&T students.
  • Fall 1963: Charlotte has complete integration of all hospitals, hotels and restaurants. Ninety-five percent of Durham’s restaurants and 100% of its motels are integrated. More than 60% of Greensboro’s restaurants and motels are still segregated. The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce is 100% white.
  • 1964: U.S. Congress passes the Civil Right Act.
  • 1967: The United States Commission of Education called for a minimum of two full-time teachers assigned across racial ones to each school. 24 of 45 Greensboro schools were not in compliance to that rule.
  • February 1968: The Office of Civil Rights informed Greensboro officials that their progress toward desegregation was “below the degree normally expected” and stated that the school board should produce a “terminal plan” for dismantling the dual school structure.
  • 1970s: Local efforts to desegregate involved busing students to schools outside of their communities using a systemwide redisricting plan.
  • 1993: The Guilford County, High Point and Greensboro school systems consolidated.
  • 1999: The practice of busing students to faraway schools ended, with a redrawing of school zones.
  • 2015: Minorities make up 90 percent or more of enrollment at about one-fourth of the Guilford system’s schools

Sources: News & Record archive; “Civilities and Civil Rights” by William H. Chafe

More pages