North Carolina History Digital Textbook Project

Brown versus Board of Education: Rhetoric and realities

By Kristin Post

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Brown versus Board of Education: Rhetoric and realities

By Kristin Post

Provided by UNC Libraries / Documenting the American South

In this lesson, students will listen to three oral histories that shed light on political and personal reactions toward the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown versus Board of Education. Though the ruling itself is not mentioned, words like “integration” and “forced busing” refer to the social outcomes as perceived by the speakers. Two oral histories are from prominent Southern politicians, George Wallace and Jesse Helms. The third offers a contrasting opinion from the viewpoint of an African American woman from Charlotte whose children went to integrated schools. This lesson includes teacher’s guides as well as the oral history audio excerpts and transcripts.