A South Carolina city is apologizing for a social media post promoting Black History Month that focused on the white mayor’s experience as a high schooler during desegregation.
The city of Greenville deleted the post by Tuesday night after it drew criticism online.
The post included a high school yearbook photo of Knox White, and pulled a quote the mayor had given for a documentary, recalling his experience as a teenager during the integration of Greenville High School in 1970, WYFF-TV reported.
“(hash)BlackHistoryMonth feature from (at)mayorknoxwhite – a student at Greenville High School during the school district’s integration in Feb of 1970s. Integration was court ordered in Jan 1970. The district was given less than a month to design a plan to redraw attendance lines,” the post said, and then quoted White as saying: “A good number of my friends just disappeared. They were sent to another school.”
The city’s critics included “SouthernGrl,” whose Wednesday tweet referred to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling urging that schools be desegregated with “all deliberate speed.”
“A better story to tell would be why Greenville had to be forced to integrate via court order in the 70’s when Brown v BOE was decided in 54. Instead you chose to see the forced integration through the eyes of a wealthy white boy who lost some friends..seriously, this is AWFUL!” the tweet said.
The post was in poor taste, said Greenville communications director Beth Brotherton, who produced the documentary.
“I take full responsibility for not recognizing how insensitive it is to tell a story about a painful chapter in lives of African Americans, through the eyes of a White person,“ she said. “The post was deleted because it was in poor taste and does not represent the Greenville I know and love.“