School Desegregation in Pontotoc County

(1969) In Pontotoc County during the mid-1950s there were nineteen “white”schools and five “colored”schools. Barney Luther, who was the superintendent of education at the time, predicted that it would be twenty-five years or longer before segregation ended in Mississippi, if ever. In August, 1969, school registration was postponed due to desegregation issues. Also, in that same year, about eighty-five black students walked out of Pontotoc High School due to allegations of being treated unfairly, such as being separated during class, being given used books while the white children received new ones, and being harassed by the white students. The superintendent at the time was Edd Conner. The schools of the district, located in the city of Pontotoc, were Pontotoc Attendance Center, a black school, and Pontotoc High School, a white school, desegregated in 1969. The middle school age children were given a choice on which school to attend, but the high school age children were forced to attend Pontotoc High School. HEW (Department of Health, Education, and Welfare) approved these desegregation plans for the Pontotoc Municipal School District. Pontotoc High School is located on Main Street in the city of Pontotoc.


Pontotoc County, Mississippi Genealogy and History. November 2, 2006.

Pontotoc Progress, May 27, 1954

Pontotoc Progress, December 30, 1976

Tupelo Journal, August 28, 1969

Tupelo Journal, September 17, 1969