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Allegany County
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Virginia Avenue School Integration, 1955

Virginia Avenue School Integration, 1955 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


As a result of the 1954 Brown versus Board of Education Supreme Court decision which forbade "separate but equal" education, the Allegany County Board of Education on July 12, 1955 stated that the county schools would begin the process of integration.

This is the original, and much clearer depiction of a newspaper photograph that appears elsewhere on this website. It was used for the front page of the Cumberland Evening Times on September 6, 1955 and portrays the first day of school integration when 150 "Negroes" reported for classes at formerly all white Allegany County schools.

These four little girls were neighborhood friends and playmates and walked to the Virginia Avenue School together for the first time that day. They are, from left to right, Carole Williams, Belle Riggs, Nancy Logsdon, and Juanita (Williams) Cage Lewis. As noted elsewhere on the site, although integration began with the 1955 school year, many black students still attended the Carver School which remained in operation until 1959.


Text: Juanita Cage Lewis, Cumberland Evening Times, and text and photograph from A Photographic History of Cumberland, Maryland - Featuring South Cumberland, Volume II


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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