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Segregation Project

Oak Grove School

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The Oak Grove School, located in Onset, MA., is the black eye in the diverse community of Wareham. The school, placed in a completely Cape Verdien area of town, segregated children, grades 1-3, for more than forty years. The school consisted of two rooms taken from the Onset School (now known as Hammond School)and renovations were made including a playground, two additional rooms, and a boiler room. The school brought forth defacto-segregation, segregation that groups cultures because of language, socio-economical status, or national origin. Citizens of Onset recognized this and protested vehemently to the building of the school. Segregation, legally instituted by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, called for facilities that were seperate but equal. In 1954 when Brown challenged the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson was overturned because "seperate but equal is inheritly untrue." This was the case with the Oak Grove School. The school lacked bathrooms, forcing kids to use outhouses. There were four classes to a single teacher. In 1954, when Eisenhower ordered the desegregation of public schools, Oak Grove closed. The town claimed that it was due to state regulation that required a greater window to floor space ratio. How interesting.

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Mr. Pyy's AP US History Class
Wareham High School
Wareham, MA. 02571