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ODU's Perry Library Features School Desegregation Exhibit

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of school desegregation in Norfolk Public Schools, the Old Dominion University Libraries is featuring an exhibit, "School Desegregation in Norfolk, Virginia." It will be on display in the main lobby of the Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library through February 2009.

The exhibit features a variety of materials from the Special Collections of the Old Dominion University Libraries relating to school desegregation from 1951 to 1993, and the "massive resistance" campaign. These materials include letters, school board resolutions, news clippings, reports and legal documents that trace some of the events and attitudes of Virginians following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954. The materials also include the reactions of the Norfolk School Board, city officials and citizen groups to the closing and eventual reopening of six of Norfolk's public schools, and the fate of the 10,000 displaced students.

"Photographs in the exhibit graphically illustrate the isolation that the first African American students to enter white schools faced after the schools were opened," said Sonia Yaco, Special Collections librarian and university archivist. "As we approach the 50th anniversary of the end of state-mandated school desegregation, this exhibit shows us the failures and successes of the past, an important part of education."

The materials are available online at www.lib.odu.edu/special/schooldesegregation.

For more information contact Yaco at 683-4483 or syaco@odu.edu.

This article was posted on: October 24, 2008

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