Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

Brown v. Board of Education

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Clinton High School, Tennessee, 1956

Courtesy of Library of Congress.

However, tensions always ran high. A second photograph from Clinton High School shows the previous scene from a different angle, with an armed member of the National Guard watching the crowd in front of the school in case violence should erupt. In many cases it became necessary to deploy National Guard and even regular Army troops to maintain order in newly integrated areas, though even this tactic was not always successful. On 4 December 1956 Reverend Paul Turner of the First Baptist Church in Clinton was beaten while escorting black students to school. Worse yet, in October 1958 the school itself was destroyed by a series of dynamite explosions in an incident that was universally thought be related to desegregation. Although nobody was injured by the blast, the incident exposes the deep racial hatred present in many communities at the time.

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