In response to the Brown v. Board decision, Georgia passed legislation requiring the closing of public schools that had been forced to integrate by court orders and their conversion to private schools. After a federal judge ordered the Atlanta School Board to submit a desegregation plan, Governor Ernest Vandiver established a committee to hold public forums on the issue. The March 1960 hearings in Atlanta, portions of which were broadcast nationally on "CBS Reports: Who Speaks for the South?" on May 27, 1960, drew a large crowd and speakers with diverse opinions. In 1961, the Georgia legislature revoked its school segregation law. A court-ordered desegregation plan did not take effect, however, for another decade.
- Thomas J. Wesley, Jr., leader of the Metropolitan Association to Continue Segregated Education, said that African Americans should not go “into places where they are not suited.” What do you think he means by that statement?
- Are more people in this video supporting desegregation or continuing segregation? What reasons do they give?
"Who Speaks for the South?" CBS News, 27 May 1960. Courtesy of Library of Congress