Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.9c - Desegregation and Massive Resistance

The student will demonstrate knowledge of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Virginia by

c)  identifying the social and political events in Virginia linked to desegregation and Massive Resistance and their relationship to national history.

Bloom's Level: remember, understand

Adopted: 2008


People are cruel to other people for many different reasons. (Man's inhumanity to man.)

Prejudice is an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc. It is not based on any logical reason.

Power can cause a person or group to act unfairly to others.

Prejudice can be carried out by laws or just in the way people act toward one another.


After World War II, African Americans demanded equal treatment and the recognition of their rights as American citizens.

As a result of the Civil Rights Movement, laws were passed that made racial discrimination illegal.

What changes occurred in Virginia as a result of the Civil Rights Movement?


Determine cause-and-effect relationships. (VS.1b)

Compare and contrast historical events. (VS.1c)

Draw conclusions and make generalizations. (VS.1d)

Make connections between past and present. (VS.1e)

Sequence events in Virginia history. (VS.1f)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (VS.1g)

Terms to know

  • segregation: The separation of people, usually based on race or religion
  • desegregation: Abolishment of racial segregation
  • integration: Full equality of people of all races in the use of public facilities and services

Desegregation and Massive Resistance in Virginia

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1954 (Brown v. Board of Education) that “separate but equal” public schools were unconstitutional.
  • All public schools, including those in Virginia, were ordered to desegregate.
  • Virginia’s government established a policy of Massive Resistance, which fought to “resist” the integration of public schools.
  • Some schools were closed to avoid integration.
  • The policy of Massive Resistance failed, and Virginia’s public schools were finally integrated.
  • Harry F. Byrd, Sr., led the Massive Resistance Movement against the desegregation of public schools.


Updated: Mar 02, 2018