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Petition of Harry Briggs et al. to the Board of Trustees for School District No. 22, et al.

November 11, 1949

This petition is the precursor to the Briggs v. Elliott court case, one of five cases consolidated before the United States Supreme Court into Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.  The petitioners argued that the separate schools for African Americans were “inadequate and unhealthy,” “overcrowded,” and “dilapidated.”  A second petition, that was also headed by the signature of Harry Briggs, was signed December 18, 1950, and led directly to the court case.

 Series L14167, Complaints Files, 1948-1951

(Records of the Clarendon County Board of Education at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History)

To learn more, you can purchase: Topics in African American History 1: Stepping stone to the Supreme Court: Clarendon County, South Carolina, a South Carolina Department of Archives and History publication

View images of schools mentioned in the petition:

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