McDowell County, West Virginia: North Fork District Schools, 1921. 11¼” x 7¾”. Thin card wrappers. Pp. . Good: covers heavily worn, separated from textblock and partially detached from each other; two images affected by large orange stains; some pages with moderate soiling, primarily at edges; one line of text blacked out with marker.
This is a rare school district annual yearbook which provides a striking view into the segregation of schools. It also serves as a great reference for West Virginia schools and businesses.
A foreword by the Superintendent of the North Fork district schools suggested that this book was “perhaps the first of its character and scope in the state.” It listed the administrative staff of the district as well as goals for the upcoming year. There were photographic images of the faculty members of all of the district's schools: first the white teachers, then the Black. Student life was documented similarly, portraying segregation with compelling clarity. Pages of proof portraits of white students, and group shots of white sports teams, clubs and classes were followed by their African American counterparts. The separation was apparent even in the images of the schools themselves, as external shots of the white schools were printed first.
The book was divided by race not only in its photographic images but also in the data it provided – one page was dedicated to the “white work” then the “col*red work” completed at the district's dental clinic, and there is a segregated list of high school graduates. The book also listed courses of study for each of the schools in the district, and there are 53 pages of advertisements for local businesses, several of which are beautifully illustrated.
A rare and compelling glimpse at school segregation in West Virginia. No holdings were located in OCLC. Good. Item #5489