Hyde County news

African American school boycott of 1968 gets historical marker

The new marker outside the Hyde County government building in Swan Quarter. Photo: C. Leinbach

The new marker outside the Hyde County government building in Swan Quarter. Photo: C. Leinbach

Coastal Hyde County is the site of one of the longest and most successful civil rights protests in American history. In 1968, the African American community boycotted Hyde County schools in response to the county’s desegregation plan.

To commemorate this movement, North Carolina dedicated a state highway historical marker at the Hyde County government services building on May 25.

Back in 1968, the board of education’s plan — created without input from the African American community — would have closed all black schools.  Black families were disappointed in a plan that completely overlooked their educational heritage and protested by not sending their children to school for an entire year and participating in marches, protests and sit-ins.

Demonstrators marched to Raleigh twice and persisted despite facing tear gas, angry white neighbors and even a gun battle with the Ku Klux Klan.

Mainlander Alice Spencer Mackey, pictured below, was a student at the time of the boycott.

To read about the boycott, click here.

Members of the Swan Quarter historic marker committee responsible for getting the 1968 School Boycott marker installed May 25 in Swan Quarter are, from left, Alice Mackey, Dorene Holloway, Thomas Whitaker, Mamie Brimmage, Michael Adams and David Cecelski, author of ‘Along Freedom Road.’ Photo by Margie Brooks, who also is on the committee.

About 70 people attended the historical marker dedication. Photo by Margie Brooks