An exhibit tracing the history of African American faculty, staff, and students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), from its opening as the State Normal and Industrial School in 1892 until 1971.
Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown, founder of the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, NC (just east of Greensboro), wrote many letters to leaders at the college, requesting that her students be allowed to attend cultural events on campus. Her requests were repeated denied due to the strict Jim Crow laws mandating segregating in public facilities.
Warren Ashby, a philosophy professor, publicly endorsed school desegregation in a letter to the Greensboro Daily News and led a faculty council resolutions supporting the desegregation of UNC campuses in 1955. He also organized a group of faculty members who regularly met for lunch at the YMCA with faculty members from A&T.
Chancellor Gordon Blackwell was opposed to the sit-ins, and addressed the university at large on Tuesday, February 9 (the fourth day of the sit ins), expressing his concern over the possibility of violence and of setting back the civil rights movement, and also for the employees and economic welfare of the dime store chains.
This video, produced in 1990, recounts WC student participation in the 1960 Sit Ins through interviews with former students, voice-overs, local tv footage, photographs, and reenactments of the events.
Karen Lynn Parker, who attended Woman's College from 1961 to 1963, recalls the pickets and protests of segregated businesses on Tate Street in 1963.
Odessa Patrick was the first African American hired as an academic staff member. She came to Woman's College in 1959 as a laboratory technician in the Biology Department, where she was responsible for preparing and managing laboratory equipment for biology class use. She was promoted to Instructor in 1968. While most were welcoming, one faculty member did tell her that he didn’t think the college was “quite ready for hiring Negroes in non-traditional jobs.”
This exhibit was created by staff in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives and the Electronic Resources and Information Technology departments of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro University Libraries.
If you have questions about the exhibit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.