In 1954, Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) became the first undergraduate school in the Deep South to desegregate. Its acclaim as the first, however, was promoted only because it lost as a defendant in Clara Dell Constantine et al. v. Southwestern Louisiana Institute et al. What occurred then, and the indignities experienced by African American students during that first decade has never been fully documented. The black experience was figuratively and literally blacked out.
African American students found themselves receiving lower grades in class than their white counterparts. Social events banned them, and school services denied access. To cope with racism, they drew strength by supporting one another, developing a grapevine, establishing their own social network, and most of all, keeping focused on their education. But not everyone was against them. Some whites risked their reputation, and became their brother’s keeper.
The four Pillars of Progress, commemorating the fiftieth anniversaries of SLI’s desegregation and Brown in 2004, stand today as a campus testament to that era. But what remains at odds is whether the desegregation of SLI was “without incident.” That still remains a matter of interpretation and depends on whom is being asked and who answers.
|Commitee:||Farmer-Kaiser, Mary, Martin, Michael S.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Black history, American history, Education history, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Civil rights movement, Constantine v. SLI, Desegregation, Higher education, Racism, University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be