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 1960

School Boards--First Negro: Dr. Lillian B. Lewis, a biology professor at Winston- Salem State University, became the first “Negro ever elected” to the Forsyth County School Board on November 8, 1960. She was easily re-elected in 1962. There were still two school districts then.  Winston-Salem City and Forsyth County.

BOARD OF EDUCATION FIRST BLACK MEMBER
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 1963
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WINSTON-SALEM & FORSYTH COUNTY MERGE

Boards of Education of the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County merged and is today’s Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education. Lewis also served as a member of the Board, making her the first Negro board member of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

North Elementary, a white school the prior year, began the school year with a Negro principal and Negro faculty. Hill and Brunson Jr. High opened on a integrate basis, with Norma Corley assigned and registered to attend 7th grade.  At Brunson, Harvey Leroy Kennedy and twin, Harold Lillard Kennedy to attended the 6th grade, with brother Michael Kennedy attending 1st grade.

< CLICK TO HEAR FROM NORMA

MORE NEGRO STUDENTS INTEGRATE 
WHITE CITIZENS COUNCIL OF AMERICA

Approximately 65 persons organized a chapter of the White Citizens Councils of America at  Forsyth County Court House, meeting with Lewis W. Hollis, the group’s executive director with headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. Hollis said, “the five-point program of the Citizens Council was to prevent race mixing, avoid violence, maintain and restore legal; segregation, defend states’ rights and reverse the Black Monday decision–segregationists refer to Brown v. Board of Ed as Black Monday. An article notes approximately 500 members of the organization.

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The Parkway Plaza K & W Cafeteria is mentioned as a meeting site and the location of anti-segregation demonstrations during the summer of 1963. Real estate broker and Chairman Paul A. Bennett said the organization’s goal is to be a “patriotic organization” aiming to  “preserve the rights of white people.”

Citzens Council Organized
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Winston Salem Mayor M. C. Benton’s biracial Goodwill Committee indicates crucial goals to improve employment and education. 

 1964
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Civil Rights Act of 1964 legislation under the administration of President Lyndon Johnson is enacted. Title VI “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.’ 

The Board of Education for Winston-Salem has maintained a dual education system.

CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

An announcement made that for the upcoming fall school year, 16 of the 42 elementary city-county schools will be desegregated  "and requires that all first-graders be assigned to the school in their district that is nearest their home.”

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"DONE VERY LITTLE IN 10 YEARS TO DESEGREGATE"

Dr. J. Raymond Oliver, a local dentist announces a new organization, “Citizens Committee for Equal Education. According to Oliver, The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County School Board and school officials have done very little in 10 years to implement the 1954 Supreme Court decision to desegregate public schools.”

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 1966
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 1968
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GREEN V. NEW KENT COUNTY

The Supreme Court ruled in Green V. New Kent County, boards of education operating on dual systems are “to take whatever steps might be necessary to convert to a unitary school system in which racial discrimination would be eliminated root and branch.”

STUDY SCHOOL DESEGREGATION

Mayor M.C. Benton notes the advisory group will appoint a consultant to study school desegregation. Fred D. Hauser, Chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, is asked to chair the advisory committee.

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Catherine Scott, et al. v. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, litigation filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of N.C. “…Negro pupils and parents in the school system commenced an action alleging that the school board was operating a dual school system….” The issue was whether the Board of Education, in its school assignment of black children, violated their constitutional rights. The case is named “for the first of 55 students who joined the case.”  

CATHERINE SCOTT, ET. AL V. WS/FC BOARD OF EDUCATION

The Western Union office has received over 1,000 telegrams directed to federal officials, including President Nixon, Senator Sam J. Ervin, Representative William Mizell, and Supreme Court Justice Warren Barger, supporting the “freedom of choice plan for neighborhood schools” Some senders noted membership in the “silent majority.”

Senator Sam J. Ervin is noted as author of Freedom of Choice Plan, which would make freedom of choice pupil assignment federal law.

 1969
POLICY 1160 ADOPTED BY WS/FC BOARD OF EDUCATION

Policy 1160 adopted by Winston Salem Forsyth County School Board: “Responsibility to Operate a Unitary and Nondiscriminatory School System.” Board notes determination to: “Provide all pupils with equal opportunity to learn and to develop toward productive citizenship without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin or economic condition; and Act firmly and positively to eliminate discrimination, whether based on racial, religious or economic grounds, wherever it may exist within the public school system.”

BOARD OF EDUCATION UPHELD SUSPENSIONS OF 3 BLACK STUDENTS

City-County Board of Education upheld the suspensions of 3 black students. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Kenney represented three of the four male students.  The Board reduced one day of suspension for 130 other students suspended in the unrest following a cheerleader selection process. School officials met with a crowd at Reynolds Auditorium.

PROPOSED COMMITTEE TO STUDY POLICE PROTECTION

Winston-Salem chapter of NAACP meeting: President Rev. J.T. McMillan proposes a committee to study events at Reynolds High School. Another proposed committee was recommended to study police protection in Negro communities. Having moved into the neighborhood near Northside Shopping Center, a family has been struck with bricks and shots.

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STUDENTS MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS

1969-1970 school year: Of 67 schools, there are nine all-black elementary schools, one all-black junior high school, and three all-black senior high schools. There are five all-white elementary schools, two all-white junior high schools, and no all-white senior high schools. 

In the 49 schools in which there is some degree of the racial mix, it runs the gamut from schools with only one black and the rest white.  Casetext: Smarter Legal Research for Scott v. Winston-Salem Forsyth County Board of Education.

 

Students presented eight recommendations to Reynolds High School to ensure a “more hospitable” school atmosphere. Further, 14 recommendations came from the North Forsyth investigation, including the need for methods to address student concerns and grievances, parents encouraged to meet in biracial committees, in-service activities for teachers in human relations, and steps to acknowledge the contribution of minority groups in history and culture.

ALEXANDER V. HOLMES:
TERMINATE
DUAL SYSTEM

U.S. Supreme Court litigation, Alexander v. Holmes found: “The obligation of every school district is to terminate dual school systems at once and to operate now and hereafter only unitary schools.” By law, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools must end the dual school system.