Established in 1982 at LaGuardia Community College/ CUNY with a mission to collect, preserve, and make available primary materials documenting the social and political history of New York City. We hold nearly 5,000 cubic feet of archival records and 3,200 reels of microfilm with almost 100,000 photographs and 2,000,000 documents available on our website.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Terry Parker Talks About the Integration of His North Carolina School in 1969

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

Terry Parker, Coordinator of Media Services at the LaGuardia Community College Library, was a high school student when desegregation came to East Spencer, North Carolina in 1969.  In this video (part of a longer piece), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0zgrmWCbto   Terry tells the story of how desegregation took place in his hometown, in what he calls "exciting, but turbulent times." 
Echoes of Terry's story can be found today in the unification of the predominantly African-American and poor Memphis, Tennessee school district with the surrounding white majority and mostly middle class suburban school districts.  Thirty six years after desegregation and white flight to the suburbs, similar issues of race and class continue to be an issue for both Memphis and our nation. See The New York Times  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/merger-of-memphis-and-county-school-districts-revives-challenges.html?ref=education
The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision declared that "separate but equal" was "inherently unequal," but resistance to segregation in the U.S. was strong and it was not until the late 1960s and early 1970s that desegregation began in earnest.  To provide more background on the civil rights movement you can also use a lesson the La Guardia and Wagner Archives (with The New York Times in College) developed on Freedom Summer in our Let Freedom Ring curriculum.  http://www1.cuny.edu/portal_ur/content/freedom_curriculum/PDFs/09-1697_Let_Freedom_Ring_Less6_HM3.pdf  
Please contact me at slevine@lagcc.cuny.edu  if you have any questions about the video or the curriculum.

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