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The Black Side of Desegregation: The History of Paul Breaux High School, Part 1 (1982)




Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: Lafayette Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1982-02-04

Duration: 00:26:01

Subjects: Paul Breaux High School (Lafayette, La.) | School integration. | Education | Segregation | African Americans | Civil Rights


  • Sexton, Sharon Elizabeth Host
  • James, J. Carlton Interviewee
  • Domingue, Eva Interviewee
  • Foote, Lloyd Interviewee
  • Smith, W.D. Interviewee
  • Trahan, Walter Interviewee
  • Willturner, Allen Interviewee
  • Hill, Roosevelt H. Interviewee
  • Henderson, Robert Interviewee
  • Jackson, James C. Interviewee
  • Benjamin, Louis, Jr. Interviewee


This episode of the series “Folks” from February 4, 1982, features Sharon Elizabeth Sexton’s report on the history of Paul Breaux High School in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, the only public high school available to African American students during segregation. This report covers: the opening of the elementary and high school by Paul Breaux following the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision in “Plessy v. Ferguson”; the inferior resources available at the school; the fight for desegregation in the case of “Alfreda Trahan v. Lafayette Parish School Board”; the school board’s initial desegregation plan; the integration of the Lafayette Parish public schools; and the school board’s decision to close Paul Breaux High School in 1970. Sexton interviews: J. Carlton James, the former principal of Paul Breaux Elementary School; Eva Domingue; Lloyd Foote, the former principal of Paul Breaux High School; Mrs. W.D. Smith, a former teacher at Paul Breaux High School; Walter Trahan, the father of Alfreda Trahan; Allen Willturner; Roosevelt H. Hill, a coach at Northside High School; Robert Henderson, the principal at Paul Breaux High School; James C. Jackson, the Director of Community Affairs for the Lafayette Board of Education; and Louis Benjamin, Jr., the Assistant Supervisor of Census and Attendance for the Lafayette Board of Education.