Desegregating Hickory high school, 1955-1975: capturing the untold stories

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann Stalnaker (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to capture for history the events and consequences of the racial desegregation of high school students within the Hickory Public Schools in Hickory, NC. The study includes a retelling of the events surrounding the desegregation of Hickory Public Schools, beginning with the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1955 and going through an analysis of four case studies of student conflict that disrupted daily high school life between 1966 and 1973. The study is based on primary source documents including school board minutes, school district memos, articles in the local newspaper, and the high school student newspaper. Primary source documents were supplemented by oral history interviews with eight students who attended Hickory High School during the early years of integration. The central finding is that desegregating Hickory Public Schools was a lengthy, complex process. At every step of the way through the desegregation of Hickory High, the school was left to handle the social changes that the community attempted to avoid. Four themes emerged in the stories of student conflict at Hickory High including loss, resistance, leadership, sports as a catalyst and arena for social change, and the power of symbols to represent a school. Rather than viewing the student conflicts as examples of what was wrong with Hickory, they are evidence that the students were wrestling to create an inclusive school community that symbolically represented them all.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Desegregation, Education, Education History, Integration, Public schools
School integration $z North Carolina $z Hickory $x History $y 20th century
African American high school students $z North Carolina $z Hickory $x History $y 20th century
African Americans $x Civil rights $z North Carolina
Hickory (N.C.) $x Race relations

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