Integration At Caverna

In 1957 Caverna Schools integrated all 12 grades the same year. The Cave City Colored School and the Horse Cave Colored School were closed, and African American students were sent to Caverna. Newton Thomas, the principal of the Horse Cave Colored School, and Ralph Dorsey, the superintendent of Caverna, were instrumental in orchestrating a smooth transition. The U.S. Supreme Court had declared that integration of schools should occur “with all deliberate speed.” In many Kentucky counties this was interpreted “as slowly as possible,” but it happened quickly at Caverna, one of the first Kentucky school systems to have an integrated teaching staff. Many African American students “didn’t make it” at Caverna and some didn’t even try to go to the integrated school–they dropped out. A generation of students were caught in the trying times of the transition, and these stories reflect the complex emotions and differing perspectives of a culture undergoing change.

Clarence Glover

Asst Principal, Farnsley Middle School, Jefferson County Public School, Former Boston Celtics Basketball Player

Gloria Boyd

Caverna Class of 1971

Bettie Glover

Caverna Class of 1967

Martha Rose Miller Turner

Caverna Class of 1951

Seaborn Ellzey

Caverna Class of 1957

Beverly Nuckols

Caverna Class of 1978

Richard Wilson

Caverna Class of 1958