Fuqua School looks to African American football star to shatter racist legacy
The last bastions of teh stoopid are beginning to fall, in other good news there’s a Gates Foundation scholarship.
Nearly 50 years after it opened as a sanctuary for white students in a county that resisted school desegregation to the very end, the Fuqua School wanted badly to prove its racist days were over.
The private school in this town on the banks of the Appomattox River accepted its first black student in the late 1980s. But the black community here still knew Fuqua as central Virginia’s most famous “segregation academy.”
It was still viewed, well into the 21st century, as a symbol of defiance to the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. It was still seen as a place where black students were unwelcome.
To shed that image, Fuqua needed a black student ambassador.
So in 2008 the school’s president, Ruth Murphy, sat down with Charles Williams, a freshman from the local public high school. Football coaches had arranged the meeting. Williams happened to be a quarterback with a powerful throwing arm who could burst through tacklers. He was faster and stronger than boys years older.