Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2020
February 17, 2020, marked the 50th anniversary of the integration of Greenville County Schools. Though it was not unusual for school districts in the South to remain segregated in early 1970, Greenville’s integration, achieved through a mid-year reassignment of more than 12,000 students and 550 teachers, was unique. At just over 18 minutes in length, this video tells the story of integration in GCS through the eyes of those who laid the groundwork and were directly impacted by the court-mandated order. While it celebrates racial progress and documents the community volunteers who helped achieve this feat, it also acknowledges the loss suffered by the local community when five black high schools were closed or repurposed as a result of school desegregation. Seniors at three of those schools were forced to finish out their final months of high school elsewhere. The heritage, spirit, tradition, pride, achievement, and community represented in the history of these schools was all taken away in a day. The feelings of loss remain strong even 50 years later.