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1957 - First Day of Integration at Charlotte Schools

Dorothy Counts, enduring abuse at Harding High School
Event Date: 
September 4, 1957
Event Type: 
Modern Era Begins 1946-1959

September 4, 1957: Three years after the US Supreme Court decision in favor of desegregation, four courageous young people change Charlotte forever when they become the first black students to enroll in all-white schools.

  • The harassment Dorothy Counts (pictured) endures leads her to leave Harding High School a few days later. The national publicity surrounding her ordeal alarms the white business community who then work to avoid such events. 
  • The other three students—Delois Huntley, Gus Roberts, and Girvaud Roberts—finish the year. 
  • Gus Roberts is the only one among them to graduate from the school he desegregates.