Desegregation of Baltimore City Schools

Baltimore City youth share personal accounts of the desegregation of Baltimore City Schools. These narratives provide a glimpse into both local and national education movements as well as the interviewees’ perspectives of breaking social barriers and traversing the status quo.

Tips for using this module in your classroom

Essential Question

Reflect on the following statement by Dr. Patricia Welch: “I was first introduced to there is another world that is different than my own comfortable world.”


Documentary Clip 1

Discussion questions:
  • Speculate how would it feel to know that you were selected or not selected to go to an integrated school?
  • Why do you think Ms. Evelyn J. Chatmon described herself as a “bridge”?
  • Ms. Evelyn J. Chatmon makes reference to “speaking truth to power.” What do you think this phrase means?

Documentary Clip 2

Discussion questions:
  • In your opinion, are stereotypes real?
  • Why did Dr. Patricia Welch's teachers think she was not as smart as other students?
  • Ms. Treopia Washington Green's references her brother Ernest. Who was he and why was his experience significant in Little Rock, Arkansas? How is this similar or different to the accounts in Baltimore ?
  • Dr. Walter Arthur Harris Gill describes a particular demographic group who protested the most during school desegregation. Who does he reference and what climate did they evoke for the students integrating Poly?
  • Reflect on Dr. Patricia Welch’s realization “That I was first introduced to there is another world that is different than my own comfortable world.” Have you ever had a similar experience or witnessed a similar experience?

Supplemental Enrichment Activites

Brown v. Board of Education
Educational materials 
from The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
Primary Sources
Online exhibit 
from the Library of Congress with primary sources relating to Brown v. Board of Education, including photographs, documents and more.
Interactive Timeline
An interactive timeline created by Wide Angle Youth Media documenting school desegreation and segregation in Maryland.


  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1 : Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (Grades 9/10)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.C : Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions. (Grades 9/10)
  • D2.His.1.9-12 : Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by the unique circumstances of the time and place, as well as by broader historical contexts.
  • D2.His.4.9-12 : Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspective of people during different historical eras.