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History Note: Brown V. Board of Education’s impact on Charlotte

 The U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision declared that the perpetuation of "separate but equal" public educational systems was unconstitutional. The decision was met with resistance and anger from many implicated states. The decision did not impact Charlotte until the integration of Charlotte City Schools in 1957.  

It was not until 1970, seventeen years after Brown vs. Board of Education, that the Supreme Court decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education fully integrated the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. The case was the work of a team of attorneys led by Julius Chambers who fought to end school segregation by suing the Charlotte Board of Education.

The J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collection holds the papersof Julius Chambers as well as those of Benjamin Horack, who represented the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education in Swann.