|Abstract||This dissertation examines the process of desegregating Fort Worth's public schools from the inception of the public school system to the 1994 conclusion of the local desegregation case. When members of the African American community filed a suit against the school district in 1959, the subsequent court case, Flax v. Potts, made Fort Worth a petri dish for experimentation with the implementation of Supreme Court cases. Despite the city's claim to a western heritage, it had roots in the South, especially in the realm of race relations. The opening chapters trace the formation of Fort Worth's public school system, its pride in providing "equal" educational opportunities, and the status of race relations before the desegregation battles. While Brown v.^Board of Education and the subsequent Flax case made black activism visible, local African Americans made their voices heard in Fort Worth decades earlier, particularly through NAACP membership and activism.^Chapter Three explores responses to Brown, revealing many Fort Worth white residents' racism and self-denial regarding Brown's implementation. Chapter Four and Five examine the early impact of Flax and the school board members' responses to the case's filing. School desegregation propelled a fight to integrate public spaces, which in turn spurred demands for increased integration in public schools. After the Supreme Court's decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Fort Worth Independent School District began busing its students. Chapter Six addresses the district's attempts to create a truly integrated school district as defined by Swann and the new issues Swann introduced. Busing served as the primary catalyst for white flight in Fort Worth.^Chapter Seven reviews efforts by local education leaders, and even the federal judge presiding over the case, to find avenues to address integration demands and curb white flight into private schools and suburban areas.^This dissertation is a narrative of the battle for equal access to Fort Worth's public schools, but it is also the story of a city and its startled response when confronted with the jarring reality that its self-identity differs dramatically from the perception of those who live on its racial, cultural, and economic periphery.