Creating Caring and Nurturing Educational Environments for African American Children

By Curtis L. Morris; Vivian Gunn Morris | Go to book overview

state and the nation from 1954 to 1969. This chronicle includes descriptions of some of the activities of major players -- Governor George C. Wallace, Judge Frank Johnson, and Attorney Fred Gray -- in the highly publicized school desegregation efforts in Alabama. For decades, graduates of Trenholm High School had to travel many miles from home and incur unnecessary expenses to pursue college degrees (at segregated colleges), while Florence State College was literally next door, only six miles away. Chapter 8 describes the events that took place when Wendell Wilkie Gunn, a native of Tuscumbia who attended Trenholm High School, enrolled as the first African American at the state college next door. Included in this chronicle will also be a description of some of the antics of Governor George C. Wallace in the high-profile case of the desegregation of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, three months earlier in 1963.

After serving the African American community for more than 90 years, Trenholm High School was closed by court order in 1969, the building was later demolished, and African American children began attending the desegregated high school across town. Chapter 9 examines the perceptions of students, teachers, alumni, administrators, parents, and community members regarding the impact of these events on the African American community from 1969 to 1980. They compare their experiences at Trenholm High School to experiences at Deshler High School, the former all-white school.

The final chapter focuses on some of the significant events that have occurred in the African American school community since the original data collection period. An attempt is also made to make meaning of the major themes addressed in the study that may influence policy issues in education as we plan for effective, quality schooling for all children in this country. What can we learn from this case study that will inform practice regarding major school reform efforts now and in the twenty-first century? What are some important skills that school administrators, classroom teachers, and school support staff must have? How can colleges of education collaborate with school districts to provide the training needed by prospective teachers as well as the continuing professional development needs of inservice teachers, school administrators, and other school staff? In what ways can schools reach out to successfully involve families and communities in the life of the school? These are some of the issues we will address in Chapter 10.


REFERENCES

Alabamian and Times. ( 1870, May 5).

"An honor worthily bestowed". ( 1877, July 13). North Alabamian.

Board minutes. Tuscumbia city board of education. ( 1955, January 31).

Bond H. M. ( 1969). Negro education in Alabama: A study in cotton and steel. New York: Octagon Books.

Brown, E. ( 1981, July 31). Interview with Ellen C. Brown (niece of Mrs. G. W. Trenholm) of Montgomery, Alabama.

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