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Desegregation, Greensboro Public Schools, Greensboro, NC

Date: circa 1958

Author: Benjamin Lee Smith

Biographical/Historical abstract: Benjamin Lee Smith was superintendent of the Greensboro City Schools at the time of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision ordering desegregation of public schools.

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Description: This circa 1958 speech by Greensboro City Schools Superintendent Benjamin L. Smith details school desegregation in Greensboro, North Carolina. Smith writes about the initial changes the Greensboro school board made to their policies following Brown v. Board of Education, including holding joint meetings with African American school administrators and listing schools alphabetically rather than by race. He explains the research and discussions that went into learning about desegregation, and details events in Greensboro that fostered better race relations, including allowing Dudley High School students to use the Greensboro Senior High gymnasium. He goes on to discuss the enrollment of six African American students at two previously all-white schools in 1957, and recalls incidents of protest and violence during the school year. Smith concludes the essay with reasons he feels Greensboro was able to desegregate schools.

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Format of original: Speech

Collection: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers

Repository: Duke University

Item#: 4.1.1000

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Civil Rights Greensboro and the appropriate repository.

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