Petition of Harry Briggs, et al., to the Board of Trustees for School District No. 22. 11 November 1949
This Clarendon County petition predated the Briggs v. Elliott court case, one of five cases consolidated before the United States Supreme Court into Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The petitioners argued that the separate schools for African Americans were "inadequate and unhealthy," "overcrowded," and "dilapidated." In the landmark Brown decision of 17 May 1954, the court ruled that "Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and segregated public schools unconstitutional. Thurgood Marshall was one of the attorneys for the petitioners. Reading this petition highlights the impact of segregation on South Carolina, and illustrates that local actions can have national significance.
For more information on the Briggs petition, and to see images of some of the schools mentioned in the document, go to this link. To see documents and lessons relating to the Briggs case, go to this link.
Petition of Harry Briggs, et al., to the Board of Trustees for School District No. 22. 11 November 1949. Clarendon County Board of Education, L14167. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.
Standard 3-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the major developments in South Carolina in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century.
Indicator 3-5.6 Summarize the key events and effects of the civil rights movement in South Carolina, including the desegregation of schools (Briggs v. Elliott) and other public facilities and the acceptance of African Americans’ right to vote.
Standard 5-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the social, economic, and political events that influenced the United States during the Cold War era.
Indicator 5-5.3 Explain the advancement of the civil rights movement in the United States, including key events and people: desegregation of the armed forces, Brown v. Board of Education, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X.
Standard 8-7: The student will demonstrate an understanding of South Carolina’s economic revitalization during World War II and the latter twentieth century.
Indicator 8-7.4 Explain the factors that influenced the economic opportunities of African American South Carolinians during the latter twentieth century, including racial discrimination, the Briggs v. Elliott case, the integration of public facilities and the civil rights movement, agricultural decline, and statewide educational improvement.
Standard USHC-9: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the social, economic, and political events that impacted the United States during the Cold War era.
Indicator USHC-9.5 Explain the movements for racial and gender equity and civil liberties, including their initial strategies, landmark court cases and legislation, the roles of key civil rights advocates, and the influence of the civil rights movement on other groups seeking ethnic and gender equity.