Maury High School during the 1960s

Norfolk, Maury High School during Desegregation.

The desegregation of public schools has always been a fascinating and complicated topic to research when it comes to Norfolk’s history. Norfolk experienced a multitude of changes to its school system due to the city’s high Black population and the later foundation of Massive Resistance in Virginia. The students of Norfolk took most of the brunt of the Massive Resistance policy in the form of school rezoning and bussing complications. However, a massive part of the history of degeneration is often overlooked when it comes to the desegregation of Black teachers and their integration into majority-white schools. Specifically, Norfolk’s Black teachers struggled under an inherently racist government ran by those who tried everything in their power to keep Black people out of Norfolk’s school system. However, the same government went on to construct an integration plan for Norfolk’s Black teachers during the 1960s-1970s that promised a completely revamped system under the eyes of the Virginia state court. This digital exhibition will break down Norfolk’s integration process and analyze its effectiveness on the representation of Black teachers within Norfolk’s school system. In the end, the evidence will open our eyes to the antithetical nature of Norfolk’s integration plan and how it destroyed Black representation in Norfolk’s faculties.