No Middle Ground

in Southern Stalemate

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226063898
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226063911 | DOI:
No Middle Ground

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This chapter explores massive resistance to school desegregation pressures in Virginia. Prince Edward and Clarendon County promised fierce resistance, and school closings loomed as a real possibility. The Supreme Court pondered how the principles of Brown should be implemented in Washington. Brown II expressed “vagueness and gradualism,” instructing federal district court judges to act “with all deliberate speed” in ordering that “parties to the case” be admitted to public schools on a nondiscriminatory basis. As Virginia's representative in the Brown case, Prince Edward prominently figured in the strategizing of the state's political leaders, for the Southside had long represented the core of support for the Byrd machine. Virginia's political leaders hardened the state's resistance to school desegregation from the 1954 Brown decision to 1957. The Prince Edward County vowed that it would brook no integration in schools, even if that meant forsaking public education.

Keywords: massive resistance; school desegregation; Virginia; Prince Edward County; Supreme Court; Brown; Brown II

Chapter.  11944 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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