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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

New Kent School
and the George W. Watkins School:
From Freedom of Choice to Integration--
Supplementary Resources

By studying New Kent School and the George W. Watkins School: From Freedom of Choice to Integration students learn about the U.S. Supreme Court case that forced the integration of public schools and meet the individuals that experienced segregation, fought to dismantle the institution, and integrated the public school system of New Kent County, Virginia. Those interested in learning more will find that the Internet offers a variety of interesting materials.

Touro Law Center: Supreme Court Cases
Visit the Touro Law Center website for the full text of the Supreme Court cases: Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, and Green v. County School Board of New Kent.

University of Virginia: Civil Rights in U.S. and Virginia History
This website stems from a course at the University of Virginia that covers segregation and the Civil Rights Movement in a local and national context. The website offers a wealth of documents, images, and sources, including the Virginia Interposition Resolution of 1956, images from the Davis case, and much more.

Virginia Commonwealth University: Photographs of Black and White Schools, Prince Edward County, Virginia--1961-1963
These images, by Dr. Edward H. Peeples, of the schools in Prince Edward County illustrate the differences between the resources that the county provided for its black students compared to its white students. According to Peeples' research, in 1951 all but one of the 15 black school buildings were wooden frame structures with no indoor toilet facilities, and had either wood, coal, or kerosene stoves for heat (one additional brick school building was built for blacks in 1953). Also visit the Virginia Black History Archives for a variety of resources related to African-American history in Virginia.

National Park Service
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park System. The site is located at Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas. Monroe was the segregated school attended by the lead plaintiff's daughter, Linda Brown, when Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was initially filed in 1951. The park's Web page provides in-depth information on the case as well as related cases, and visitation and research information.

The National Register of Historic Places' on-line travel itinerary, We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement provides information on many places (in states across the U.S.) listed in the National Register for their association with the modern civil rights movement, including both the George W. Watkins School and the New Kent School.

Racial Desegregation in Public Education in the U.S.
In 1998, Congress authorized the National Park Service to prepare a National Historic Landmarks Theme Study on the history of racial desegregation in public education. The purpose of the study is to identify historic places that best exemplify and illustrate the historical movement to provide for a racially nondiscriminatory education. This movement is defined and shaped by constitutional law that first authorized public school segregation and later authorized desegregation. Properties identified in this theme study are associated with events that both led to and followed these judicial decisions. Both the George W. Watkins School and the New Kent School were identified and later designated as National Historic Landmarks.

Civilrights.org provides a comprehensive history in its Civil Rights 101 Reference Guide, which outlines the historical events, political acts, and policy decisions relating to the Civil Rights Movement. Of particular interest is the section on School Desegregation and Equal Educational Opportunity.

PBS: The American Experience--Stand Up for Your Rights
The American Experience Way Back: U.S. History for Kids explores different aspects of U.S. History, including school desegregation. Click on "Buzz" for an exclusive interview with Little Rock Nine member, Melba Pattillo Beals who describes her experience when integrating Central High. Also visit the School Desegregation feature for a brief history of the Little Rock Nine at Central High.

Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is an educational partnership between Yale University and the New Haven Public Schools designed to strengthen teaching and learning in schools. The website features curricular resources produced by teachers participating in Institute seminars, including "From Plessy v. Ferguson to Brown v. Board of Education: The Supreme Court Rules on School Desegregation."

The Brown Quarterly Newsletter for Classroom Teachers
The Brown Quarterly is a publication of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research which provides access to curricular resources available from national parks dealing with diverse historical issues such as school desegregation, assimilation of American Indians, Mexican American immigration, and much more.

Library of Congress
The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture offers a collection of materials and essays on African-American history topics such as colonization and abolition.


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