The Road to School Desegregation in King George County
The events leading up to the integration of schools in King George County, Virginia, were a significant part of the national struggle for civil rights.
Despite having unsettled the King George community while advancing the cause of both local and national black education, two pivotal court cases of historical significance (Civil Action No. 631 and Civil Acton No. 3579) are seldom remembered today. Twice within two decades, these cases represented the black community of King George and its NAACP attorneys’ legal action against the local school board for equal educational opportunities for their children.
The first legal victory, Civil Action No. 631, resulted in the opening of the Ralph Bunche High School, with facilities comparable to those of the local white school. Then, with the advent of Civil Action No. 3579, the community triumphed again in 1968 with the full integration of the King George County school system.
Today, the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association advocates for transforming the former school building into a vibrant venue to accommodate a museum gallery, meeting spaces and more. This venue would also help address the community’s existing social needs and memorialize the school’s historical significance.
A Landmark Achievement in the Movement for Equality
Dedicated on September 2, 1949, Ralph Bunche High School played an early and important role in the struggle for school desegregation, civil rights and equality that followed in the years after in the United States.
Ralph Bunche High School Today
Located on James Madison Parkway (US Highway 301) in King George, the Ralph Bunche High School building still stands, though vacant and in need of both restoration and renovation. With your support, this legacy can be preserved.
In an effort to preserve Ralph Bunche High School and its rich history and legacy, the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association is committed to:
- Restoring areas of the school to their former condition to honor the contribution the school made to the education of African-Americans in King George County from 1949 through 1968;
- Renovating areas of the school to accommodate a museum gallery, as well as meeting spaces for conferences, education, socialization and other public interests; and
- Maintaining the entire school site to a standard worthy of the memory of those who fought to see equality in education become a reality.
The RBAA Academic Scholarship
Each year, in recognition of scholastic achievement, the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association awards two $1,000 academic scholarships to graduating high-school students. We invite all high school seniors on their way to college to apply.
Watch The Road to School Desegregation Documentary
Produced by the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association and King George County School Board, The Road to School Desegregation is a documentary video detailing the struggle for educational equality in King George County, Virginia and across the United States. Deepen your knowledge of this part of our nation’s vital history and support the mission of the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association in the process!
Your contributions and involvement with the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association directly fund historic preservation, community education and the college scholarship award. Find out more about how you can get involved and make an important difference.