Download Transcript: Massive Resistance

In 1955, the Supreme Court delivered a second decision in the Brown case stating that the desegregation of southern schools should proceed “with all deliberate speed.” It set no deadline for integration, though, and therefore left it up to individual states to set the pace. Led by Harry F. Byrd, Sr., Virginia pursued a policy of Massive Resistance, including passage of laws to prevent Virginia schools from integrating.

As a result of these and other policies, school desegregation in Virginia proceeded extremely slowly, with some counties closing public schools to avoid integration. In this video, historian J. Douglas Smith discusses desegregation and Massive Resistance.

Source: Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Massive Resistance (Fairfax, VA, 2011). Full video in Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and Loudoun County Public Schools, “Source Analysis: Massive Resistance Cartoons,” Foundations of U.S. History, accessed September 16, 2011.


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