Second Ward School, seen here in a brightly painted postcard, was one of two black high schools in Charlotte, NC before desegregation (the other school was West Charlotte High School). The school opened in 1923 and served the community until 1969. From this illustration, Second Ward appears like any other school, white or black, in Charlotte. As a black high school in the segregated South, however, the institution faced many discriminatory problems.

The city built several new school buildings in the 1920s and 1930s that served Charlotte for decades. These schools, however, allowed only white students to attend until the late 1950s.


Central High School, now a part of Central Piedmont Community College's campus, was the the first all-white school to graduate a black student. Gus Roberts, who integrated the school in 1957, graduated in 1959.