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Southern StalemateFive Years without Public Education in Prince Edward County, Virginia$
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Christopher Bonastia

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226063898

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226063911.001.0001

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From the Courtroom to the Street

From the Courtroom to the Street

Black Activism in Prince Edward

(p.189) Seven From the Courtroom to the Street
Southern Stalemate
University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates the strengths and limitations of legal mobilization strategies to forge social change. It evaluates the gap in the use of directaction techniques by Prince Edward blacks from 1951 to 1963, exploring the obstacles that hindered the launch of a sustained protest campaign in the county. As the Prince Edward case showed, it was even more difficult to use outsider tactics to reopen schools than to desegregate them. The erasure of public education had contracted the ranks of black leadership and potential movement participants and forced black community members to resort to crisis management as they sought to secure education for their children. Protestors in Prince Edward did not have the capacity to pressure the county board of supervisors and school board to reopen schools.

Keywords:   legal mobilization, social change, Prince Edward blacks, protest campaign, public education, black leadership

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