Education Activism

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Murphy High School Integration.

School desegregation was a major component of the civil rights movement.  After the milestone Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, replacing the legacy “separate but equal” education system (which was in reality very unequal, seriously disadvantaging African Americans and other minorities) with an integrated approach was inevitable.  Implementation proved difficult, however, with considerable resistance and even violent reaction, especially in the southern states.  Desegregation began with the public schools. A notable early example was Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Integration of higher education institutions did not escape the controversy and violence, when even state governors resisted and the federal government responded with substantial force.  However, the ultimate goal of educational integration was eventually achieved in most places, often peacefully. Some opponents of desegregation responded in other ways, for example, white flight to private schools, to avoid integrated institutions.