Desegregation shuts down black schools though they are newer than white ones
Tapia points out an irony of integration: the state had for so long denied education to African Americans that when it closed black schools to send its students to white ones, it closed buildings in better physical condition.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Brenda Tapia, February 2, 2001. Interview K-0476. 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
- JONETTA JOHNSON:
So your first high school, they were closing it down, and
that's why they had to move all of the students out?
- REVEREND BRENDA TAPIA:
Umm, it wasn't so much that they needed to close it down, or
they were going to close it down. That's how Charlotte
Mecklenburg decided to integrate schools, they decided to integrate at
that point. And as a process of their integration plan, they closed
black schools. And it was really interesting
because a lot of the black schools, because of racism, they were newer
than the white schools because for a long time we didn't have
any schools. Because for a long time, we didn't have any
schools, so a lot of the white schools they using were much older, and
far more, in much worse physical condition, they would have been the
more likely choices to close. But instead they closed our schools and
bused us to them, because naturally they wouldn't want to
come to us. Just like here in Davidson, Ada Jenkins [the black
elementary school] was built long after Davidson Elementary. But when
they decided … because the same year they closed the tenth
grade at the high school, they also closed the second grade. I thought
they had done this all over the county, but I found out a few years ago,
that, that only happened here in Mecklenburg County. Their way of
beginning integration was to close grades, close those two grades, that
didn't happen, you know in Charlotte or Huntersville.