Easley issues proclamation honoring school integrators

Posted June 25, 2008

— Gov. Mike Easley on Wednesday recognized seven of the first men and women who, as children more than 50 years ago, broke racial barriers by crossing the thresholds of all-white public schools.

The governor brought one man and six women to the Executive Mansion to honor their actions, saying their bravery changed society and education forever in North Carolina.

"It's one thing to do heroic deeds when they're popular. It's another thing to show courage in the face of criticism when it's unpopular and you have no public support," Easley said. "That's who the real heroes are in life. That's who these seven individuals are."

Easley issued a proclamation in honor of their actions and presented each with an Old North State Award, which is issued to individuals for contributions that have had a significant and positive impact on the state.

"I came from a family that believed in a quality education and also felt it was wrong, morally wrong, for us to be denied the education we should have," said Dorothy Counts Scoggins, one of the 11 black children to integrate public schools in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem on Sept. 4, 1957.

North Carolina did not immediately comply with the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering that public schools be integrated. Easley said state officials took three years to determine how to carry out the court's order.

"It was a very fearful experience and very threatening, because you didn't know what was going to happen, recalled Josephine Boyd Bradley.

It would be another 12 years before schools were fully integrated. Scoggins admits people were not ready in 1957, but said that what she did had to happen.

"And for my nephew, as a result of that, he's able to have an education in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system," she said.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • TheAdmiral Jun 26, 2008

    Oooooh They have integrated schools... I wonder how much Wake County schools is going to ask for for this person's award?

  • sweetsea Jun 26, 2008

    Yeh boy. It has done wonders for public education.

  • bluewater Jun 25, 2008

    Ain't America great. Now any fool can post their biggoted comments on line.

  • NE Raleigh Jun 25, 2008

    Now we will spend the next several years trying to reverse this diversity fantasy (Healthy Schools)and forced busing throughout the county. It's obvious it doesn't work.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 25, 2008

    Yes I was wondering if Easley apologized to these people for the horrendous damage he has done to the Public Schools. Just on of the things he has helped destroy along with the roads.

  • whatusay Jun 25, 2008

    APO75...there was no "life risking involved" in integration into the schools of NC...I was there. However...the school system has gradually deterioriated since integration.

  • whatusay Jun 25, 2008

    APO75...I pedict you are around 25-30 years of age.

  • APO75 Jun 25, 2008

    whatusay, Please save your rant for talk radio or your next conservative meeting. This was to honor people who risked their lives, families and futures to make this happen. Maybe if separte had been equal, then there would not have been a need for this.

  • whatusay Jun 25, 2008

    Gov. Easley is correct...society and education has changed forever in the state of NC...for the worse. Since integration, welfare, and forced busing, racial tension is at an all time high. There is no sense of security or safety. Security alarm businesses are booming because people do not trust their safety. Illegals are everywhere because the government are paying Americans welfare to sit at home and not work. Why would Easley honor the blacks since integration was introduced by the whites.