School Segregation in Western North Carolina

A History, 1860s–1970s


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About the Book

Although African Americans make up a small portion of the population of western North Carolina, they have contributed much to the area’s physical and cultural landscape. This enlightening study surveys the region’s segregated black schools from Reconstruction through integration and reveals the struggles, achievements, and ultimate victory of a unified community intent on achieving an adequate education for its children. The book documents the events that initially brought blacks into Appalachia, early efforts to educate black children, the movement to acquire and improve schools, and the long process of desegregation. Personnel issues, curriculum, extracurricular activities, sports, consolidation, and construction also receive attention. Featuring commentary from former students, teachers and parents, this work weighs the value and achievement of rural segregated black schools as well as their significance for educators today.

About the Author(s)

A retired public school educator, Betty Jamerson Reed lives in Transylvania County, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Betty Jamerson Reed

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, charts, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5965-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8708-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      xi
Preface      1
Introduction      9

1. Roadblocks to Opportunity      17
2. Tracks of African Americans      27
3. Steps to Integration      35
4. Gateway Policies for Education      67
5. Gateway Push to Education      84
6. Conceptual Path to Schools      114
7. Pragmatic Path to Schools      123
8. Leaders in Secondary Education      160
9. Turmoil in Secondary Education      191
10. Reconciliation in Secondary Education      205
11. Expectations of Education      221

Appendix: High Spots in Negro History      235
Bibliography      239
Index      253

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Award of Merit—American Association for State and Local History
  • “from reconstruction through integration, this study illuminates Western North Carolina’s segregated black schools”—Appalachian Heritage
  • “a detailed, thoroughly researched and well documented history…well written and interesting to read”—AASLH Narrative
  • “a needed contribution to an underrepresented area of study in Appalachian and African American history”—The Journal of Southern History
  • “in these 264 pages are found failures and successes, laughter and tears, statistics and inspiration. All blend together to both explain and preserve a century and more of educational yearning, neglect, striving, and, to some extent, success”—The Transylvania Times
  • “provides a historical account of the struggles faced by the relatively small population of African-Americans”—Reference & Research Book News