Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John T. Kneebone


Virginia's Pupil Placement Board was the most enduring vestige of the state's "massive resistance" movement in the 1950s. Following the example of other Southern states, the state's General Assembly passed the Pupil Placement Act in 1956 as part of a package of legislation designed to counteract the Supreme Court desegregation ruling. The Act, and the Pupil Placement Board that enforced it, lasted a decade, much longer than any of the other legislative initiatives born during that session, longer than the massive resistance movement itself.Whites, including many of Virginia's leaders, considered the Board to be ineffective at stemming the onslaught of integration, while African-Americans felt that the agency breeched their constitutional rights. From its inception to its dissolution in 1966, the Pupil Placement Board had to defend itself in a slew of desegregation cases all over Virginia, and the General Assembly changed the law several times to comply with court orders. Despite this adversity, the Board was consistently effective in stemming desegregation in Virginia throughout its tenure.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

History Commons