Newport News, VA

Newport News in the early 1940s was the center point of resistance to salary equalization for black teachers. At that time the Alston case in Norfolk established equal salaries for black and white teachers of similar experience and training, but the Newport News school board and superintendent ignored federal court orders to equalize salaries. After two years of balking, the city was ruled in contempt. The city responded by terminating the contracts of three black teachers and three black principals before grudgingly moving to provide equal salaries.