Remember The Titans - T. C. WILLIAMS HIGH SCHOOL

 This image depicts T.C. Williams High School as it appeared before its new building became available in 2007.


Virginia—like many other Southern states—had a history of segregated schools. “Jim Crow Laws” long upheld by federal courts, had effectively created two separate societies. African-Americans who endured humiliating treatment still remember what it was like. The two societies were “separate,” but they were hardly “equal.”

Many Southern towns had duplicate schools—one for blacks and one for whites. Alexandria, Virginia (hometown of George Washington) was no different, although it actually had three high schools.

Parker-Gray (started in 1920) served the needs of black students while George Washington High served the needs of whites. In 1956, Francis C. Hammond High opened to accommodate the increasing white student population.

Bill Yoast, a popular white coach, ran the varsity football program at Hammond High in 1971.

In the 1960s—well before the Supreme Court issued its 1971 Swann decision—the City of Alexandria planned to eliminate school segregation. George Washington High was integrated and remained a 4-year high school until 1971. After the Swann case authorized busing to speed-up the integration process, T. C. Williams High School (which had opened in 1965) became the only senior high school in Alexandria.

While integrating all students into one high school—T. C. Williams—was the goal, the process created a “problem.” Black and white members of competing football teams were now part of the same school.

If there was only one high school, there would be only one football team. Who would be on the team? And, more importantly, who would be its coach?

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Jul 19, 2019

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"T. C. WILLIAMS HIGH SCHOOL" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 01, 2000. Feb 28, 2020.
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