“Man of the hour [Young H. Allen].” Robesonian [Lumberton, NC] July 26, 2014.
It’s little remembered, but racial integration in Robeson County during the 1960s and 1970s was achieved largely without trouble. There was not effective resistance, nor was there rioting in the streets. This may have been due to the fact that the tri-racial (whites, blacks, and Native Americans) county had already been in close quarters to begin with and already working and playing together. Desegregating schools was not much of a hassle for Robeson County, and was made even easier by Young Allen, the superintendent of the county school system from 1965 to 1977.
Allen led a system that was majority minority - mostly American Indians and blacks - and whose students would be swapped mostly for whites in the local city systems, including Lumberton’s. Allen questioned the practicality of transferring students clear across counties to reach evenly numbered schools, making the transition smooth for both the students and faculty.
Allen died July 16, 2014 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.