Home > Incredible Past > Dorothy Counts – A Victim of Racism

Dorothy Counts – A Victim of Racism

Dorothy Counts was one of 4 black students selected to integrate all white schools in Charlotte, North Carolina. On September 4, 1957, Dot as the then 15 year-old was known to her friends and family thought it would just another school. She had no idea of the hostile crowds that awaited her. She was mocked, harassed, bullied and spat upon, in other words terrorized as those students did not want her there. Amazing that Emma Warlick, wife of the White Citizen’s Council President John Z. Warlick walked with the crowd ordering the boys to keep her out and the girls to spit on her. Dot’s parents feared so much for her safety that they pulled her out after just 4 days of attending. Dot’s parents sent her to Philadelphia were the schools were already integrated.

Dot has her head held high. She is not reacting to the terrorism surrounding her. Walking beside her is Dr. Edwin Tompkins, a friend of the family and a professor at the black college Johnson C. Smith University.

Fast forward 50 plus years and you will find Dot Counts-Scoggins has not only forgiven but has also become friends with some of the very men in the background jeering her. Today, they are cheering Dot. Dot was busy running a faith based child care center right there in Charlotte as she returned to pursue a college education. She is frequently asked to speak about her experience and was eventually honored with a diploma from Harding High School where over 50 years ago, Dorothy Counts broke the color barrier and integrated an all white school. In 2010, Harding named a building in Dorothy’s Honor. What a courageous young lady Dot was, and what a brave soul she is today!

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Categories: Incredible Past
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