Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston, SC

School Integration: Past and Present, Sun., May 20, 4 pm

Sun, May, 20, 4 pm, Blue Bicycle Books presents a special mini-symposium on School Integration: Past and Present. Join us for a look at five decades of integration, from groundbreaking heroes of the 60s, through busing in the 70s and 80s, to present-day schools like James Simons and Charlotte’s Shamrock Gardens.

420 King St, downtown Charleston. Free and open to the public. For more information please call 843.722.2666.

Featured speakers:

Pamela Grundy, author of Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Education Equality.

Rachel Devlin, author of A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women who Desegregated America’s Schools.

Millicent Brown, professor at Claflin University, who as a young woman desegregated Rivers High School on Upper King Street, featured in A Girl Stands in the Door.

Color and Character (UNC Press, hb., 248 pp., $26) tells the story of West Charlotte High School. The historically black school was integrated through Charlotte’s busing program in the early seventies, when white students from some of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods were reassigned. For two decades, West Charlotte was a national model for integration, excelling in academics, arts, debate and athletics. Grundy uses the history of a community’s beloved school to tell a broader American story of education, community, democracy, and race—all while raising questions about present-day strategies for school reform.

Pamela Grundy is a historian, author, and activist. She is also the author of the award-winning Learning to Win: Sports, Education, and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina. She blogs about her children’s experience at Shamrock Gardens Elementary, one of the many high-poverty, high-minority schools created as Charlotte dismantled its celebrated busing program, at

In A Girl Stands at the Door (Basic Books, hb., 384 pp., $20) historian Rachel Devlin tells the remarkable stories of desegregation pioneers. She also explains why black girls were seen, and saw themselves, as responsible for the difficult work of reaching across the color line in public schools. Highlighting the extraordinary bravery of young black women, this bold revisionist account illuminates today’s ongoing struggles for equality.

Rachel Devlin is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, where she teaches courses on women, gender, sexuality, and childhood. She is the recipient of numerous grants, from the American Academy of Learned Societies and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute among others.

Dr. Millicent Brown is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor of History in the Department of History and Sociology at Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC)., and serves as Principal Investigator for the “Somebody Had to Do It” Project. She has a B.A. from the College of Charleston, a Master’s of Education from The Citadel and a Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. History from Florida State University, but credits a transformative year as a Ph.D. student at Howard University for cementing her academic attachment to issues of race, gender and class struggle.




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