Five Years without Public Education in Prince Edward County, Virginia
“What happened in Prince Edward County in the late 1950s and early 1960s was nothing less than an American tragedy. Yet it’s long lingered on the margins of civil rights history, a footnote to the standard story of struggle and triumph. With Christopher Bonastia’s careful, enlightening, and sympathetic new study, it finally has the book it deserves.”
“Well written and engaging, this book richly chronicles an incident that has been underexplored in the vast civil rights movement literature. Bonastia goes beyond a welcome general political historical account to develop a close analysis of white justifications of school closings and the use of legal mobilization strategies to pursue movement goals. Southern Stalemate makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of civil rights era contention that will be of interest to historians, social scientists, and education scholars alike.” —David Cunningham, Brandeis University
“A fine book that captures the intensity of the struggle among the white segregationists, the NAACP, and the black community during the years of the school closing, Southern Stalemate sheds new light on the civil rights movement and this important case. It represents an important step in the quest to better understand race, social movement, and legal scholarship.”
“In this absorbing and meticulously researched narrative, Christopher Bonastia brings us into a forgotten yet vitally important moment in the civil rights movement, when a Virginia county abandoned its public schools rather than integrate them. Southern Stalemate is a grand addition to the literature on the civil rights struggle.”
Introduction : Why Prince Edward County?
1 White Supremacy and Black Resistance in Prince Edward County and Virginia
2 No Middle Ground : The Rapid Ascent of Massive Resistance
3 Breaking the Basket of Eggs: The Collapse of Massive Resistance
4 “The Doors Was Chained, So I Knew Then”: Educational Options during the Closing Years
5 The Federal Government Confronts the “Lone Pocket of Ludicrous Resistance”
6 “Clean as a Hound’s Tooth”: White Justifications for the School Closings
7 From the Courtroom to the Street: Black Activism in Prince Edward
8 The Grudging Resumption of Public Education
Conclusion : A County ahead of Its Time?
Abbreviations Notes Index