Posts Tagged ‘Black Schools Project’


  Google Scholar. (n.d.). Google Scholar. Retrieved May 3, 2011, from,34&as_vis=1


             This document contains the court decision in the Godwin v. Johnston County Board of Education case, regarding the fate of the Pearsall Plan. Godwin and several other parents brought the case before the court, claiming that the government was failing to uphold the mandate set forth in Brown v. Board by not actively integrating schools, while the Johnston County Board of Education claimed that the Brown decision only required that the state government not actively segregate schools, therefore the Pearsall plan was completely constitutional. The case is ultimately decided in favor of Godwin, thereby overturning the Pearsall Plan


             This source is directly relevant to the content of this product, as it is the official end to the Pearsall plan, the legislation which this product seeks to elaborate upon. As an official court record the document lacks the bias that a secondary source might have , especially when considering such a potentially controversial subject. This source has been used within this project primarily to cite that the Pearsall plan was ended via a court decision, with a brief touch as to what logic was used.

Carolina., a. d. (n.d.). Chapter 115C – Article 39. North Carolina General Assembly – Home Page. Retrieved May 3, 2011, from


             This document contains the current North Carolina Nonpublic school regulation statues; the laws that were enacted to replace the Pearsall Plan.


This source contains the current NC nonpublic school codes, and was used primarily as a point of reference to contrast the current methods by which nonpublic schools are governed against how nonpublic schools were governed under the Pearsall Plan. As with the previous source, it is an official State Government Document, which eliminates much of the potential for bias that might be seen in a secondary source.

Former North Carolina General Statutes. (n.d.). NCDNPE. Retrieved May 3, 2011, from


These former North Carolina statues for the governing of Nonpublic schools formed the active arm of the Pearsall plan. The statutes were enacted in 1955, and replaced by the current school codes in 1969.


             This source serves as the heart of the project, as it lays out the actual content of the Pearsall Plan. Again, as it is an official publication from a state government, it lacks the severe bias that might be seen in a secondary source regarding the subject, though given the era in which this document was drafted it will be necessary to remember that a retrospective bias may exist, meaning that while the document speaks only to what actually happened, it is definitely biased against certain people groups from a modern perspective.


Brown v. Board of Education (I) | The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. (n.d.). The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law | U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Recordings, Case Abstracts and More. Retrieved May 3, 2011, from


             This webpage contains information regarding the Supreme Court Case Brown v. Board of education, a landmark case which overturned the previous jurisprudence of Separate but Equal, as established in Plessey v. Fergusson. The media available ranges from the Transcripts of the Supreme Court arguments and decisions, to actual recordings of the Oral Arguments of the case.


The content of this source is directly relevant to the project at hand, in that it sets the background for the Pearsall plan. Without Brown, the Plan would have been unnecessary as a state of segregation would have been maintained by previous mandates, therefore without Brown there is no Pearsall. The Oyez site directly references the text of the manuscript, and even offers audio files of the oral arguments, making it more of a redistribution than a secondary source, and thereby eliminating the potential for author bias.

Lemon v. Kurtzman | The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. (n.d.). The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law | U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument Recordings, Case Abstracts and More. Retrieved May 3, 2011, from


This webpage contains information regarding the Supreme Court Case Lemon v. Kurtzman, in which it was ultimately decided that the US government could not give out vouchers to a religious school for various reasons. . The media available ranges from the Transcripts of the Supreme Court arguments and decisions, to actual recordings of the Oral Arguments of the case.


While not directly relevant to the Pearsall plan, this Case was used to demonstrate the overall stance of the court against the notion of vouchers for private schools. The Oyez site directly quotes the text of the court transcript, even offering audio files of the case, so it leaves no room for bias, and is more of a redistribution site than a secondary source.


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Posted: March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized
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The Pearsall Plan included several provisions by which schools could remain effectively segregated while still giving the appearance of complying with Brown vs. Board.

-The opening statement of the Pearsall Plan is an allegation that public schools cannot function without mirroring the attitudes and beliefs of the communities they serve. It then continues to state that no child will be forced to attend an integrated school.

-The true nature of the plan is shoddily disguised with verbal gymnastics, focusing less upon discriminating against individuals of color. The phrasing is such that every action is taken in order to maintain the “rights” of those in the public school system. Of course the issue with allowing the “Right” to attend a non-integrated school in the Civil Rights era south is a rather obvious one: No one would willingly choose to attend an integrated school, leaving all of the white children to attend certain schools, and the black children to attend whatever was left over, effectively sidestepping the monumental decision of Brown v. Board using semantics. The Court claimed that there was no such thing as “Separate but equal,”  and that segregation could not be forced; however the court had nothing to say regarding individuals choosing to attend segregated schools.

-The second prong of the plan was to give the White population the means by which to attend an alternate school. Any one willing to go through the process could apply for a grant to attend a private school. The qualifications to receive a grant were essentially that one must be attending an integrated school (which is to say, theoretically every school in the county), and to have been accepted to a private school.

-Revoked 1969


In short, the Pearsall plan was an attempt to privatize the education system. By doing so, the State Legislature would have created a series of institutions not under the direct jurisdiction of the Supreme court, or at least not under the jurisdiction of Brown v. Board.

While the intent of the plan is obvious in retrospect, it is easy to see why the plan may have been difficult to overturn given its wording. While it would be incredibly simple to raise support for overturning a blatant segregation law, it would be nearly impossible to rally support for overturning a law that was about preserving rights. The passive nature of the steps taken towards maintaining a state of segregation would also have made it difficult to pinpoint the Persall plan as needing to be overturned, given that none of the action taken is to keep Black children out of the schools, but rather is focused upon providing alternatives to integrated schools for white children.

*Still need to find what actually got the plan overturned, and how it came into being.*

The objective of this project *title pending* is to outline the Pearsall plan and other ways in which North Carolina Schools, specifically those in Pitt County, evaded the Brown v. Board Supreme Court mandate for so long.  The project will be aimed at the general public, with the intent of educating readers in the tactics used, and how they were ultimately dismantled so that in the future similar tactics will be rendered ineffective sooner, especially given recent controversy with Charter Schools in NC and the diversity issues in Wake County. The primary question of this project is how Pitt County evaded the mandate of the Supreme Court of so long, with the secondary questions of how their evasion was ultimately ended.

Thus far the key findings of this project are that the tactics taken are nowhere near as overt as one might expect. The Pearsall plan, in particular, goes to great creative lengths to create “alternatives” that would effectively allow segregation to continue indefinitely.

The Product that this project should ultimately produce is a resource that will analyze these strategies and will highlight how these less than obvious methods furthered the cause of continued segregation as well as how they were ultimately overturned.


Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

“To seem rather than to be : Rocky Mount city schools and race, 1954-1970”

I’ll have to do some more indepth looking at this source, but it appears to be the type of thing that might be useful in drawing parallels between Pitt county and other, similar situations. Unfortunately I was too wrapped up in the Pearsall plan to check this out in-depth before, thought it seemed like the type of thing that might be helpful.


Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

*Not sure what exactly to cite this as, will fill in when I’ve got it down.*

“The Pearsall Plan to save our schools”


The Pearsall plan was developed by an all white committee in what was essentially an effort to shut down the integration of the school system. Various approaches were recommended, including things such as amending the compulsory attendance laws to exempt integrated schools and giving private education grants to those parents whose children were assigned to an integrated school.


This item should be very useful in writing about the attempts to block integration of the schools as it is an effort to block the integration of schools. Given that several of these strategies, especially private ed grants, have been applied in other areas (such as religious school) and shut down, it should be easy to draw parallels between the integration Situation in Pitt County and education related issues in other locales. As this is a primary source (the actual recommendations handed down by the Pearsall committee) no bias towards the subject is included, which will allow the bias of the individuals making the recommendations that much easier to see.