Desegregating Private Higher Education in the South
Duke, Emory, Rice, Tulane, and Vanderbilt
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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I happily acknowledge that I could not have written this book on my own. I would never even have begun it if not for the warm welcome and encouragement I received years ago from the faculty in the History Department at Creighton University, especially Dennis Mihelich, Dick Super, and Ashton Welch. At Rice, first as a graduate student and then as University Historian, I have always been surrounded ...
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This is a story about how a group of very powerful people— the leaders of the South’s elite private universities— came to do something that many of them did not want to do: admit black students. This story is quite different from the one that played out in the region’s public institutions. Here, no federal court ordered these schools to admit black ...
1. Intelligent White Men of the South: The Late 1940s
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The presidents of Duke, Emory, Rice, Tulane, and Vanderbilt, charged with leading these universities into an uneasy post–World War II future, found themselves in the 1940s at the center of gradually growing controversy on campus. Each of these schools nurtured strong traditions and was deeply proud of its roots. Their alumni revered the founders and early leaders and the philosophical foundations of southern higher ...
2. “The Sense of Security No Longer Exists”: The Early 1950s
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As the 1950s opened, change pressed on the South with growing intensity. The victory of the Communists in China and the beginning of the Korean War brought global challenges to American power into sharp focus. At home, an aggressive anti- Communism arose to counter the perceived threat of subversion from within. In the South itself, deep changes spread through the economy, demographics, and culture.1...
3. The Backlash against Brown: 1954
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On January 15, 1955, Rufus Harris wrote to an old friend in his hometown of Monroe, Georgia. Wearily, Harris told him, “I watched the old year go out without regret. It went out burdened with fears, hates, scandals, and some bumbling stupidity. It had seen a premium placed on hate as a way of life with organized hate-mongers setting neighbor against neighbor for political gain and scaring the wits out of millions of ...
4. Unable to Lead: The Late 1950s
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By the late 1950s the worst fears of the private university presidents seemed to be coming true. Angry whites reacted violently to the pressing demands of southern blacks for some measure of justice. A now steady stream of highly publicized incidents—the Montgomery bus boycott, the acceptance and then expulsion of Autherine Lucy at the University of Alabama, the ugly mob scenes in Little Rock, the bombing of a ...
5. Push Comes to Shove: The Early 1960s
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By the early 1960s the quickening pace of the civil rights movement brought each of these schools to the same critical point. The moral strength of opposition to institutionalized racial discrimination was swaying opinion throughout the country. The Kennedy administration, while not notably aggressive on civil rights, did use federal power to advance equality of opportunity in areas where they could avoid getting bogged ...
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After World War II the pace of change in the United States, and especially in the South, seemed dizzying. The region was utterly transformed in these years, becoming more urban, more industrial, and far more prosperous than ever before. Southerners, black and white, were better educated. Ties to the rest of the nation grew stronger as south erners moved North and northerners migrated to the South’s cities to ...
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Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2008