University of North Carolina at Asheville
Subject Listing - Education
Advisor: Debbie Miles
Friday, Oral Session 5, Presentation 4, Karpen Hall 113
WITH ALL DELIBERATE SPEED: BUNCOMBE COUNTY SCHOOL DESEGREGATION
During the spring and fall semesters of 2005 interns under the direction of the Center for Diversity Education have been doing research on the topic of desegregation in Asheville. One of the areas of concentration was the desegregation of public schools in Buncombe County during the 1960s. Elementary schools were the first to admit black students. Through research of the minutes of Board of Education meetings it was found that black students could request to be admitted to previously white middle and elementary schools. Their request was then either accepted or denied by a council of the board. It took many years for the school system to become fully integrated, with high schools being the last to do so. There were conflicts, of course, throughout this process. One organization was formed to deal with some of the problems that were occurring between students, faculty and members of the Board of Education. ASCORE, the Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality, was formed by high school students. This group not only helped with the integration of the public schools, but also with public businesses in downtown Asheville. Extensive research was done on each of the members of ASCORE as well as Stephen Lee High School, the high school that most of the members attended. All of the black students from Stephen Lee High School were sent to Lee Edwards, which is now Asheville High School. What is now left of Stephen Lee is its gymnasium. The research done was very important. Most of the events that occurred during that very significant time were not known by many of the citizens of Asheville. The exhibit, "With All Deliberate Speed: Buncombe County School Desegregation," gives the people of Asheville the opportunity to learn a vital part of their city's past.
Advisor: Debbie Miles, Coordinator - Diversity Education, Center for Diversity in Education, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC