The Plessy vs. Ferguson Supreme Court Case ruled that racial segregation was appropriate as long as society was "separate but equal." This ruling included schools as places where racial segregation could occur.
Built in 1883, Biddle Memorial Hall is the oldest and historic building at the center of the Johnson C. Smith University campus.
1920 - 1945
There were no junior (middle) or high schools that existed in Charlotte. Most Black children were only taught what was known then as the 3 R's (reading, writing, and arithmetic) and received just six grades of education compared to twelve grades for White children. Education was spearheaded and led by the Black community. They raised money to build their own schools and created their own curriculums. Also, Black schools did not have the same resources as White schools. Funding was decided by politicians and city leaders who were White at the time.
Second Ward High School, the first high school for African American students in Charlotte, NC was opened.
West Charlotte opened as the 2nd all-Black high school with 389 students.
Integration efforts began nationally with Black children entering into White schools to attend school. For example, students of the Little Rock 9 were escorted to Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas under the orders of President Eisenhower.