desegregation Alabama

A federal judge is ordering mediation to resolve a dispute over racial segregation in Huntsville's city schools.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala ordered the talks as the city attempts to draw new district lines for its school zones.

The rezoning has to be approved by a federal judge because of a desegregation lawsuit dating back to 1963, when the federal government sued to end racial segregation in the system.

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of many pivotal moments in the civil rights era in Alabama. The movement would lead to desegregation of schools and businesses in the Deep South. But, along with these victories, there were casualties along the way. Desegregation almost killed one small Alabama town.

“This used to be the main drag. The school would always have a homecoming parade, Christmas parade. So it was always kind of a celebration strip. And all these homes left and right, I knew everybody in these homes.”