W.W. Law and Rev. Louis Scott Stell, in the top left, stand with a group of high school seniors from the Class of 1964. The students were among the first to integrate public schools in Savannah.

A Community Celebration

"Reflections on Education in Savannah"
(Excerpted from "School Integration Its First Year in Savannah")

The members of the Savannah Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have had the pleasure of observing, at close hand, the change which has come over our young people, after they entered integrated schools in our city. Because of their bravery, courage and willingness to undertake this new sociological and psychological experience, the members of the Savannah Branch have developed a warm admiration and appreciation for these youth. Without a doubt, these 90 Negro youth who are currently enrolled in integrated schools and the 19 who were enrolled last year, along with those who are enrolled in integrated parochial schools and the adults at Savannah Vocational School are preparing themselves for the new challenges of an integrated society.

...

The members of the Savannah Branch, NAACP, and I salute the courageous children and their parents who helped to pave the way for integration in our community. As we look to the future, we envision a democratic community, we envision a community where the color of a man's skin will not dictate whether he will receive a superior education. As we join in helping to create “the great society,” let us never forget W.H. Auden's words when he said, “unless an individual is free to obtain the fullest education with which his society can provide him, he is being injured by society.”

W.W. Law, September, 1964

Description

Take a trip into archives of the Museum and read a selection from the writings of Savannah’s civil rights leader Westley Wallace Law. In this introduction to a 1964 pamphlet that records the history of school integration in Savannah, Law shares his vision for a future where education is equal for all.

Questions

1) What does W.W. Law state about the students?
2) What change does he envision the students will have on the community of Savannah?
3) What is your impression of the students who integrated Savannah’s public schools in 1963?
4) Looking back, do you believe that the students had the effect on the Savannah community that Law believed they would?