Collections > Southern Oral History Program Interviews > Interviews > SOHP Series K. Southern Communities > K.002. Southern Communities: Listening for a Change > K.002.019. Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Stephens-Lee High School, Asheville, N.C.

K.002.019. Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Stephens-Lee High School, Asheville, N.C.

Interviews by Kelly Navies explore the history of Stephens-Lee High School in Asheville, N.C. Built in 1923, Stephens-Lee was for many decades western North Carolina's only secondary school for African Americans. The school drew students from Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, Yancey, and Transylvania counties, and represented a focal point and a key source of pride for the extended African American community in the state's western region. In 1965, however, the all-white school board closed Stephens-Lee as part of its desegregation plan, and, in 1975, the entire multi-building campus, except for the gymnasium, was bulldozed. Navies interviewed former faculty, administrators, and students of Stephens-Lee to collect memories of the school and to assess the impact of desegregation and the school's closing on the black community in western North Carolina.

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