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Affidavit for reassignment of African American students to all-white schools

Date: August 28, 1957

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.

Additional contributor:


This six-page affidavit pertains to the reassignment of six African American students to all-white schools Gillespie Elementary School and Greensboro Senior High in 1957, documenting Greensboro's first sucessful attempt at desegregating it's public school system. The affidavit was submitted by Greensboro public school superintendent Benjamin L. Smith to the Greensboro Division of the Guilford County Superior Court.

In the affidavit, Superintendent Smith argues that because of Brown v. Board of Education, the school board cannot deny the applicants reassignment. He argues that school administrators have been given plenty of preparation for desegregation in the three years following the court decision, and that integrated classes at Carolina Convalescent Hospital and Greensboro Cerebral Palsy School, as well as pupils at local universities, have been successful. For these reasons, Smith argues, the reassignments should be granted. A month later, the students—Josephine Boyd, Brenda Florence, Jimmie Florence, Elijah Herring, Russell Herring, and Harold Davis—were enrolled at their prospective schools, desegregating Greensboro schools for the first time.


Format of original: Other

Collection: Benjamin Lee Smith Papers

Repository: Duke University

Item#: 4.1.975

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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