Thursday, November 11, 2010

Respected Historian Visits Dutch Fork High!

By Kelly Payne, Social Studies Teacher

Rebekah Dobrawski, a historian from the South Carolina State Archives spoke to Kelly Payne’s Current Issues class on Monday, November 8th. In 1951, South Carolina passed its first general sales tax in order to fund a statewide program of school construction. Briggs v. Elliott, a landmark civil rights lawsuit filed in Clarendon County, challenged the state’s constitutional separate but equal education provision. An equalization program was instituted to construct new African-American public schools across South Carolina to circumvent a potential desegregation ruling from the Brown v. Board of Education case decided in the Supreme Court.

Over $175 million dollars was spent to build 175+ African-American High Schools and an undocumented amount of white schools throughout South Carolina changing the landscape in the fight to keep segregation. The building construction records were destroyed by inadequate storage at the State Department of Education after 1971. Many of these schools have been demolished or abandoned and over 100 still exist today.

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