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Benjamin Lee Smith Papers


Collection Description:

The papers of Benjamin Lee Smith, North Carolina educator and Duke University alumnus, span the years 1916-1961, and contain correspondence, memoranda, clippings, and other printed material related to public education at both the local and state levels in North Carolina. There are also several dozen photographs of N.C. school buildings and personnel, circa 1930s-1950s. Other topics include prohibition and the elections of 1928, and religion and politics in North Carolina. A small but significant amount of material concerns school integration in Greensboro and associated civil rights issues in North Carolina. The collection also includes material on charitable organizations in which Smith was active, especially the Methodist Church, North Carolina Education Association (NCEA), Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, and the Horace Mann League.

Materials selected for this project document Smith’s tenure as the superintendent of Greensboro’s school system during the 1950s as the city struggled with school desegregation. Included are correspondence, reports, court documents, and speeches.

For more information on this collection, please consult the collection finding aid.

Repository: Duke University


Items from this collection included in the CRG digital archive

Displaying items 11 - 20 of 43
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Item thumbnail image Letter from Benjamin L. Smith to Harry McMullian
Date: August 23, 1954
By: Benjamin Lee Smith
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
In this two-page letter, dated August 23, 1954, Greensboro Superintendent of Schools Benjamin L. Smith recommends that North Carolina Attorney General Harry McMullian attend hearings regarding the ...
Item thumbnail image Community Approach to Better Human Relations
Date: December 21, 1954
By: Greensboro Community Council
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers

This is a transcript of a speech on desegregation given by Dr. Gordon W. Lovejoy to the Greensboro Community Council, on December 21, 1954. Lovejoy was a visiting sociology professor at Guilford C...

Item thumbnail image Taking Stock of Greensboro's Possessions
Date: 1955
By: unknown
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This three-page essay or speech, possibly written for newspaper publication or presented at an event, details Greensboro's positive characteristics. Listed are: religious tolerance, interracial cooper...
Item thumbnail image Biographical information on Benjamin L. Smith
Date: 1955
By: Benjamin Lee Smith
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This four-page document provides biographical information about Benjamin L. Smith, including a brief biographical sketch and lists of his organizations, accomplishments, and interests. Smith had serve...
Item thumbnail image Benjamin L. Smith
Date: 1955
By: unknown
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This photographic portrait of Benjamin L. Smith was taken around 1955, by an unindentified photographer. Smith was Greensboro's Superintendent of School at this time....
Item thumbnail image Statement by Benjamin L. Smith regarding Brown v. Board of Education
Date: 1955
By: Benjamin Lee Smith
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This one-page statement regarding the Brown v. Board of Education decision was drafted by Greensboro school superintendent Benjamin L. Smith around 1955. Smith says that...
Item thumbnail image Church and Desegregation
Date: March 13, 1955
By: Benjamin Lee Smith
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This speech titled “The Church and Desegregation” was delivered by Greensboro City Schools Superintendent Benjamin L. Smith to Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Ca...
Item thumbnail image Superintendent and Desegregation
Date: May 21, 1955
By: Benjamin Lee Smith
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This speech by Greensboro school superintendent, Benjamin L. Smith, was given to the American Association of University Women in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 21, 1955, and presents Smith’s position...
Item thumbnail image Pearsall Plan to Save our Schools
Date: 1956
By: Pearsall Committee
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
In response to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional, North Car...
Item thumbnail image Report of the Superintendent to the Greensboro City Board of Education regarding Brown v. Board of Education
Date: 1956
By: Benjamin Lee Smith
From: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers
This report regarding the Brown v. Board of Education decision and the state’s Pearsall Plan, was written by Greensboro school superintendent Benjamin L. Smith and submi...