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Key school desegregation dates

1954

Supreme Court rules that separate but equal schools are unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education (Topeka, Kan.).

1957

Four black students enter previously all-white schools in Charlotte. A newspaper photo of Dorothy Counts being taunted as she enters Harding High makes national news. Within days, she leaves Harding. Gus Roberts, with the support of principal Ed Sanders, enters Central High without incident and becomes the first black to graduate from a Charlotte predominantly white high school in 1959.

1964

Charlotte schools still have 88 single-race schools – 57 white and 31 black.

Jan. 19, 1965

Julius Chambers files Swann v. the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, challenging school segregation.

July 12, 1965

Judge Braxton Craven rules in favor of the schools, saying they had made steady progress toward integration.

Nov. 11, 1965

Chambers files a lawsuit against Mecklenburg Schools and the City Parks and Recreation Department, saying the Shrine Bowl team was selected on a purely racially discriminatory basis.

Nov. 19, 1965

Judge Craven orders the Shrine Bowl to be played, on the condition that the game’s selection process be reviewed.

February 1966

The Shrine Bowl lawsuit is settled out of court. The Shrine Bowl agrees to include schools from the N.C. Negro High School Athletic Association.

Oct. 24, 1966

Fourth Circuit Court of appeals upholds Craven’s verdict in the Swann case.

December 1966

Shrine Bowl is played with black players for the first time.

1968

Supreme Court rules schools must move with speed to integrate schools.

March 17, 1969

Swann case is reopened.

April 23, 1969

Judge James McMillan rules Charlotte schools are not yet desegregated and orders a plan to integrate, which could include busing.

Sept. 9, 1970

A new integration plan begins, with 525 buses transporting students to schools to achieve integration.

April 20, 1971

U.S. Supreme Court upholds Swann decision, ruling busing is a legitimate method of speeding up desegregation in schools.

Source: Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

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