Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

Patricia Sullivan

Abstract

'High School Students, the Catholic, and the Struggle for Inclusion and Citizenship in South Carolina 1970-1972' assesses the processes whereby students in Rock Hill fought for equality in their schools during the transformative years following Southern desegregation (1970-1972). Though the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered South Carolina school districts to end dual public education systems in 1970, it could not guarantee integrated and equal learning environments for black and white students in the post-Jim Crow Era. Through an analysis of oral histories, papers of local activists, school board archives, and local newspapers, 'High School Students, the Catholic, and the Struggle for Inclusion and Citizenship in Rock Hill, South Carolina 1970-1972' analyzes the ways in which black students, joined by religious leaders, parents, and civil rights activists, continued to fight for inclusion in schools, participation in shaping school policy, and to have their voices heard in the broader political community. By refusing to relinquish their right to equal educational opportunities and civic rights, black students worked to transform school systems controlled by all-white school board members, white politicians, and largely white administrators. Ultimately, black students wanted to be a part of the unitary school system, not separated from it, and demanded full inclusion. And while student efforts often fell short of achieving equal educational status for all students in the district, their endeavors were an integral part of the struggle by African Americans to attain equal participation and citizenship, not only in public schools, but in all of American society.

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