Four years after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954, "massive resistance" to school desegregation in Virginia left 10,000 students out of school in Norfolk, the largest number of any school system in Virginia.

Primary source materials from the Special Collections of the Old Dominion University Libraries document the activities of several prominent citizens in their efforts to reopen the public schools. These materials, now available digitally through this Web site, include the activities of the Norfolk School Board, the Norfolk Committee on Public Schools, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuits initiated to reopen the schools, and a teacher. Information on Virginia's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision as a whole is also included.

Broadside from the Margaret White Papers
The Norfolk 17

Feature: The Norfolk 17
In the context of ODU's archival materials, we wish to pay tribute to the 17 young people whose sacrifices allowed greater educational opportunities for all children.


School Desegregation in Norfolk, Virginia :
a digital collection of the Old Dominion University Libraries
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