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Keeping History Alive: How Brevard Became a Pioneering Civil Rights Community

Keeping History Alive: How Brevard Became a Pioneering Civil Rights Community

Keeping History Alive: How Brevard Became a Pioneering Civil Rights Community We invite you to learn more about a landmark effort by Brevard and Transylvania County’s African American citizens who made history – and the extraordinary African American community that is sharing their history in exciting new ways.   Pictured: Edith Darity Sometimes change requires courage. And tenacity. And an unwavering belief in the American Dream. Those are the qualities that describe Brevard’s African American community in the early 60s. At the time, virtually every school in the South was still segregated, despite the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision handed down by the Supreme Court that declared segregated schools unconstitutional. In Brevard and Transylvania County, high school age African American students were bussed 42 miles every day to attend an all-Black high school in Henderson County. Enter Reverend Samuel A. Raper, who encouraged local African Americans to form the Transylvania Citizens Improvement Organization in 1960. After twice being turned down by the local Board of Education, these citizens took their case to the Federal Courts – and won – helping Transylvania County become the first desegregated school system in North Carolina. Brevard resident Edith Darity lived that history. For the first three years of high school, she was bussed to Henderson County. But for her senior year, in 1963, she attended Brevard High School as part of the first fully integrated class – all thanks to the landmark efforts of the Transylvania Citizens Improvement Organization. “Everything was... Read More