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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, July 31, 1975. Interview A-0311-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Few white Virginians objected initially to the <cite>Brown</cite> ruling

Dabney recalls little initial anti-desegregation fervor among Virginians in the immediate post-<cite>Brown</cite> decision.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, July 31, 1975. Interview A-0311-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

DANIEL JORDAN:
Long after the fact, Benjamin Muse wrote that he thought the chance of compliance in Virginia in '54, before the decision was announced, was fairly good. He based that on the fact that Virginia had a good history of race relations and he had interviewed some officials. Would your recollection be along those same lines?
VIRGINIUS DABNEY:
Yes. I didn't think that we were going to have all this trouble that we did have and in the early stages of the period before massive resistance actually began and after the decision of 1954, it looked as if we were going to have a fairly smooth reception of the decision.
DANIEL JORDAN:
What was the immediate official reaction to the decision of May 17th?
VIRGINIUS DABNEY:
There was calm, I think. Stanley was not excited and he spoke in a restrained way about it and gave the impression that he was going to be working to make it effective without any hullabaloo, and he said he was going to consult both races and sounded very conciliatory.
DANIEL JORDAN:
Was that the mood as well throughout the state, were there immediate defiant cries in Virginia?
VIRGINIUS DABNEY:
I don't remember any, I don't think there were.