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Greater than Equal

African American Struggles for Schools and Citizenship in North Carolina, 1919-1965

Sarah Caroline Thuesen

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents, Illustrations and Tables

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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xv

Throughout the process of writing this book, I have wrestled with the dilemma of knowing that I had more stories to tell than any reasonable editor would permit. Nowhere is that more true than in the acknowledgments. These few paragraphs can only begin to convey my gratitude for...

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pp. 1-11

Like many children of the post-1960s South, I was first struck as a student of history by the profound difference that one generation can make. My mother began public school in South Carolina in 1943, at the height of racial segregation. When she began her senior year of high school in North...

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1. The Price of Equality: Black Loyalty, Self-Help, and the “Right Kind of Citizenship”

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pp. 13-47

“Ho’ Stop! Look! Listen!” In the summer of 1919, flyers bearing that headline circulated around the small town of Ahoskie in North Carolina’s northeastern corner. The black community’s Educational League was advertising its “Two in One” celebration, an event billed as both a “Homecoming...

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2. Lessons in Citizenship: Confronting the Limits of Curricular Equalization in the Jim Crow South

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pp. 49-88

In fighting for curricular equality, African Americans first had to challenge popularly held white assumptions of black intellectual inferiority, assumptions that endured even at the state’s center of white progressivism. Historian Guion Griffis Johnson recalled that when she was acquiring her...

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3. The High Cost of It All: James E. Shepard and Higher Education Equalization

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pp. 89-127

If state officials had an Achilles heel in their efforts to uphold segregation, it was higher education. Many white elementary and secondary schools in the state dated back to only the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. Thus, in the mid-twentieth century, creating a parallel system of...

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4. A “Most Spectacular” Victory?: Teacher Salary Equalization and the Dilemma of Local Leadership

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pp. 129-157

When poet Langston Hughes visited North Carolina in the early 1930s, he discovered what he perceived as an intolerable degree of complacency among black educators. After receiving from a local black leader a letter of introduction to Nathan Newbold, Hughes paid a visit to the Raleigh...

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5. How Can I Learn When I’m Cold?: A New Generation’s Fight for School Facilities Equalization

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pp. 159-199

“I wish every Southern state had done as well as North Carolina with Negro education,” remarked Richmond Times-Dispatch editor Virginius Dabney. “We would be much farther along the path to something like reasonable equality of opportunity, if the whole South had followed North Carolina’s...

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6. From Equalization to Integration: Struggles for Schools and Citizenship in the Age of Brown

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pp. 201-246

In October 1954, the North Carolina Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its eleventh annual convention in Lumberton, the site of the 1946 protest that had ignited a wave of school equalization activity. Held in the wake of Hurricane...

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pp. 247-259

Despite Brown’s promise, many black students during the early days of school desegregation felt less like first-class citizens than ever before. In 1969, when the Hickory Human Relations Council asked black pupils at recently integrated Claremont Central High to offer anonymous feedback...


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pp. 261-318


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pp. 319-343


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pp. 345-366

E-ISBN-13: 9781469612744
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807839300

Publication Year: 2013