Sunday, June 15, 2003

Victims of massive resistance in Virginia given honorary diplomas

In Virginia, some cities and counties closed the public schools rather than comply with federal court orders requiring integration in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education. One county in particular remained without any public schools for years. Today, some of the black students who had no schools because of massive resistance were given honorary diplomas in Prince Edward County, as reported here.

In this article dated 1962 and reproduced on a Harvard website, a Lynchburg newspaper editor who opposed massive resistance tried to explain what closing the schools in Prince Edward County was all about - and it comes across as mostly balderdash, read today. The act of closing of the public schools to avoid integration seems so self-destructive and delusional, it is like a form of mass suicide to avoid surrender. Why did Prince Edward County do it? Not for any reason a sane, self-interested person can understand.

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