—Heritage Trails Enrichment Program —
Named for Dr. George Washington Carver, Carver School was built in 1939 to
serve the educational Tupelo's African-American children Carver, along with local churches, was the center of social activities for the African-American community. In addition to educating children, the school produced many talented athletes and musicians, The campus also housed the community recreation center known then as "the playground during the summer months. The Desegregation Act of 1954 did not affect Carver directly until 1965 when "freedom of choice" took the place of "separate but equal." A handful of high school students enrolled at Tupelo High School, not without controversy but without the violence some experienced across the South. A greater number of elementary students enrolled at Church Street Elementary School. When the federal government mandated that all schools in the South must integrate Carver School became a meeting center for the African-American community. After total desegregation, Carver School became the ninth-grade center for all Tupelo school children and currently houses an elementary school. Today, Carver stands as a monument to the Tupelo educational system and the many thousands of school children whose education has been advanced there.
of Schools Across the South
For 58 years following the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plessy v.
Ferguson, segregation in public schools became the standard throughout
the South. The "separate but equal" rule led to the establishment of a
dual but unequal school system, one for white students and one for black
students. School administrators and school boards, through policies and
practices, allowed the quality of white schools to be superior to that of
black schools. It was common practice for black schools to receive used
textbooks, often outdated, that were handed down from their white
counterparts. The same was true for science equipment, desks, chairs,
band instruments, football equipment and office equipment. In 1955, thé
Supreme Court ordered desegregation of public education facilities at
the state level "with all deliberate speed in Brown v. Board of Education.
For many school districts in the South, however, deliberate speed came
to mean slow speed, and full integration was not realized for many
years following the court ruling.