'68 Alumni Recall Loudoun's All-Black Douglass High (Virginia)





In the fall of 1964, 102 students enrolled as freshmen at all-black Douglass High School in Leesburg. By the end of senior year, most had dropped out.

Some were forced to leave school so they could tend to family farms. Others were called to a faraway war.

The resilient corps of 44 students who stayed at Douglass through the spring of 1968 lived through a graduation season of tumultuous change. In addition to the events that helped define that year for all Americans -- the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy -- 1968 marked the end of Virginia's policy of school segregation and the end of Douglass High's role as an African American institution.



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