Dr. Albert N. Thompson is shown as a young teacher instructing a 4th grade class in Richland County. Photo courtesy of Cecil Williams.
In September 1944, Thompson, who was then teaching at Booker T. Washington High School and R. Rebecca Monteith of Hyatt School District No. 2 were granted a hearing with the Richland County School Board. They asserted that they and other Black teachers and principals had been discriminated against because of their race.
The County Board ruled against Thompson and he then appealed to the Federal Court. On May 26, 1945, based on the suit that Thompson filed against Dr. J. Heyward Gibbes and the County School Board, Judge J. Waties Waring issued an injunction against Richland District One.
Gibbes and Superintendent A. C. Flora readily admitted that historically the school system had significant inequities in Black and White salaries and they had been working to correct the problem.