The story of Virginia’s Massive Resistance to Brown v. Board has been told many times. Most of those treatments focus on the political, legal, and educational aspects of desegregation. Often lost in these histories are the personal experiences of those whose lives were most immediately affected—the young people who were the first to cross previously enforced boundaries and charted new social norms.
As recently as the 1960s, most schools in the American South were racially segregated. Resistance to school desegregation in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, continued for at least a decade more. During that time, it was not just classrooms that were changing; it was sports teams, school hallways, and communities as a whole. The oral histories of dozens of former students, many of them athletes, offer first-hand reflections of what it was like during those years of unprecedented change. How did desegregation actually take place when “there was no playbook?” Find out from those who lived it.