HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 9

(9) Because district courts were instructed to ensure compliance, the Davis case, the initial Prince Edward County desegregation case, continued even after the Brown decision was handed down. The litigation to end segregation in Prince Edward County began in 1951 with Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, a result of the Moton students’ strike for equal facilities. In 1959, it was argued as Allen v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, which resulted in the district court decision that Prince Edward County schools were to reopen in September of 1959 to all students. Later, one of Leslie F. Griffin’s own children became the named plaintiff in the case Griffin v. County School Board (Prince Edward) (1964) which came about in response to Prince Edward County’s continued refusal to comply with the earlier decisions. The fight for integration in Prince Edward County ended in 1964 with Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, in which the United States Supreme Court decided that “the time for mere ‘deliberate speed’ has run out, and that phrase can no longer justify denying these Prince Edward County school children their constitutional rights to an education equal to that afforded by the public schools in the other parts of Virginia.”

Although the Griffin decision resulted in an order by the Supreme Court that Prince Edward County open its school, the county supervisors continued to resist integration. The Board of Education requested, and the board appropriated only enough money to educate Black students, while meeting secretly to appropriate funds for grants to private school education in the county. The courts had forbidden such grants after the 1960-61 school year, based on the argument that the state was participating in an unconstitutional attempt to evade the Brown decision.

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