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Brett Gadsden

teacher, civil rights activist, plaintiff in Belton v. Gebhart (1952), a companion case to Brown v. Board of Education (1954), was born in Hazelhurse, Georgia, the daughter of Glover and Ida Hall.

Around 1948, almost a decade after her husband Louis passed away, Ethel Belton moved with her seven children to Claymont, Delaware, a suburban community northwest of Wilmington, Delaware, to join her extended family. There she taught general education in a one-room school. Her daughter, Ethel Louise Belton was eleven years old at the time of the move and was later assigned to Howard High School the only free public school for blacks in the entire state at the time Located in Wilmington it was a fifty minute nine mile commute for Ethel Louise who had a congenital heart condition Although Claymont High School the school for white children in ...

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David B. McCarthy

in a pioneering but unsuccessful attempt to desegregate higher education in North Carolina, was born in Durham, North Carolina, the son of Florence Amos and Thomas Henry Hocutt. After graduating from Durham’s Hillside Park High School, he worked in a pharmacy in a nearby city. He then enrolled in Durham’s North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University) while he worked as an assistant headwaiter at the Washington Duke Inn. Hocutt wanted to become a pharmacist, but North Carolina’s only program was at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, which had never admitted African Americans.

In 1933 two Durham attorneys, Conrad Pearson and Cecil McCoy, began to strategize about mounting a legal challenge to North Carolina’s segregationist higher education. With the support of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) executive secretary Walter White the lawyers met with several outstanding students in ...