Suit to integrate Monroe City Schools, desegregated all city schools

Jimmy Andrews First Black To Attend A White Public School Jimmy Andrews, as a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.), transferred fromCarroll High School in the mid 1960’s to become the first Black student to attend Neville High School.

Until Andrews took his brave step, all Negroes in the Monroe community attended schools south of Lousville Avenue. Carroll High School was the only city school for Negro high school students. Negro leaders, lead by Dr. John Reddix and members of the NAACP (The Guiding Voice) searched for a student that could provide the test case to break down school segregation in Monroe.

The student would have to be brave enough to endure harassment and insults and smart enough to provide an excellent example for the Negro community. The student selected was Jimmy Andrews. Andrews was an honor student at Carroll High School at the time and was destined to be the school’s valedictorian. He chose to forfeit that opportunity to transfer to Neville and face certain harassment and possible physical danger.

As a student at Neville he suffered daily harassment and was often the victim of beatings by Monroe Police officers who, ironically, were assigned to protect him. He later sued the school system, while still a student to force the complete integration of Monroe City Schools. For nearly 17 years the suit which bore his name was fought in court by many community groups that continued it under the name “Jimmy Andrews vs. Monroe City Schools.” The suit was finally settled in 1981 and resulted in the present school desegregation plan in force today.