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Harry Teel stands atop a front end loader at his business, Teel's Auto Parts & Used Cars, on Old River Road Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. As a high schooler, Teel was a plaintiff in Pitt County's first desegregation court case in the 1970s.   (Justin Falls/The Daily Reflector)
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Justin Falls/The Daily Reflector

Harry Teel stands atop a front end loader at his business, Teel's Auto Parts & Used Cars, on Old River Road Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. As a high schooler, Teel was a plaintiff in Pitt County's first desegregation court case in the 1970s. (Justin Falls/The Daily Reflector)

The journey to unitary status

By Jackie Drake

The Daily Reflector

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When the gavel was struck on the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the reverberations were felt nationwide, and have continued through the years to Pitt County today.

Pitt County continues to work toward what is termed “unitary status,” or the official elimination of the vestiges of segregation in its public school system.


The Brown decision declared that “in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” The 1955 reaffirmation (see timeline) set desegregation to begin “with all deliberate speed.”

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart