The Bulldozer Era
As the city's chief politician and highest elected official, Mayor W. Fred Duckworth remarkably had not yet spoken out on the subject of school integration. Most people supposed that, because of his political association with the Byrd Organization through its local affiliate, the Prieur Machine, his personal sentiments rested with those who preached resistance at all cost, yet he had endorsed none of the myriad scenarios of resistance that had already been proposed by Governor Stanley, Senator Byrd, Councilman Summers, the Defenders, the Gray Commission, James J. Kilpatrick, and others. He had never directly employed the rhetoric of interposition, and he had been strangely tolerant of others who attempted to relate the city's position. In an administration that prized closed-mouth unanimity, it was remarkable to witness the School Board left free to pursue its own moderate course while councilmen like Ezra Summers veered off in more extreme tacks. Most observers conceded that Duckworth was, at least, opposed to undertaking the School Board's building and modernization program, but even in this regard there were those who felt that his resistance was temporary, and that he was only withholding his approval as a bargaining chip in
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Publication information: Book title: Pride and Prejudice:School Desegregation and Urban Renewal in Norfolk, 1950-1959. Contributors: Forrest R. White - Author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 85.
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