Desegregation

There's a building on the campus of the University of Georgia where the foundation rests on the bodies of enslaved people.

That's Baldwin Hall on UGA's picturesque North Campus. It's been years since more than 100 burials of enslaved people were discovered during an expansion of the building that houses the Anthropology Department. Since then, many on campus at UGA and in the larger Athens community have not been happy with the way UGA handled those remains.


La'Raven Taylor/GPB

You may have heard of Ruby Bridges or the "Little Rock Nine" walking through a gauntlet of jeering protestors as they made their way to school. Just a few states over in Georgia, Dr. Michael McBay was among less-photographed pioneers.

In 1967, McBay along with six other students were among the first African-American students to attend the Westminster Schools, an elite private school in Buckhead. McBay's younger brother, Ron, later enrolled at Westminster Schools in 1968. Shortly after, Vic Bolton enrolled in the institution.


"On Second Thought" explored rural churches, political thrillers and the legacy of the first black graduate at the University of Georgia today.

Sonny Seals spoke about Georgia's history through rural churches. Seals co-produced GPB's docuseries, "Saving Grace" with George S. Hart. They also wrote "Historic Rural Churches of Georgia."

 

As voters prepare for the November election, political power grabs are in the national news. "Paper Gods: A Novel of Money, Race, and Politics" uncovers a conspiracy that reaches into the heart of Atlanta's political machine. We spoke with author and political strategist Goldie Taylor about her new political thriller.

Mary Frances Early UGA Black African-American Graduate
University of Georgia / Twitter

The first class of women graduated from the University of Georgia in 1918, one hundred years ago. Their resiliency changed higher education, but they were segregated.

 

UGA admitted the first black woman, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, in 1961. She inspired Mary Frances Early to attend the school a year later, and Early became the first black UGA graduate. She graduated in 1962 with a master's degree in music education.

 

We spoke to her about the barriers she faced in admission, the isolation of being the only black student on campus, and the way her legacy inspires students today.

 


Courtesy Saint Lous University / Yale University Press

Jim Crow laws gave rise to horrific violence, humilitation and race-based terror, which makes "The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America," a new examination of segregation as a means of protecting African-American culture all the more provocative. 


 

On Second Thought For Monday, June 4, 2018

Jun 4, 2018
GPB

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made segregation of America’s public schools illegal. But decades before Thurgood Marshall argued for Linda Brown's right to attend the all-white school closest to her house in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits brought by little girls and young women chipped away at the foundations of segregated education. New research finds their grassroots efforts paved the way for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) legal battle to integrate schools nationally.


Image from the website of the Norman Rockwell Museum

The 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education made segregation of America’s public schools illegal. But decades before Thurgood Marshall argued for Linda Brown's right to attend the all-white school closest to her house in Topeka, Kansas, lawsuits brought by little girls and young women chipped away at the foundations of segregated education. New research finds their grassroots efforts paved the way for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) legal battle to integrate schools nationally. 

 


The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling Brown v. the Board of Education more than six decades ago. Linda Brown, the namesake of that landmark court case, died March 25. She was 76. 

With Brown v. Board, it became illegal to separate public school students by race. But since the landmark ruling, many schools in the South have resegregated, according to a report from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also found Latino student enrollment surpassed black enrollment for the first time.

We spoke about the resegregation of southern schools with Erica Frankenberg, associate professor of education at Penn State University, Belisa Urbina, executive director of Ser Familia, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Maureen Downey.

Erik Voss

For Women’s History Month, On Second Thought is paying tribute to Georgia's female trailblazers. 

Civil Rights icon Dr. Roslyn Pope made history in 1960 when, as a student at Spelman College, she wrote “An Appeal for Human Rights." The document was instrumental in advancing the Atlanta Student Movement's efforts to end segregation.

On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen spoke with Pope about her experiences as a student leader in the Civil Rights Movement. 

Photo courtesy of John Harris

"Mr. Tuck And the 13 Heroes" is a new children's book about the first elementary school in Henry County to desegregate black and white students. In 1966, Fairview Elementary accepted thirteen students of color--an effort led by then principal, Brooks Tuck.

The author of the book is John Harris, whose father was friends with Mr. Tuck. We spoke with Harris along with the illustrator, his daughter Sophie Harris.

Akhenaton06 / Foter

In 1967, the first African-American students were admitted to the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Joseph Hobbs, one of the first black students to graduate, was the first black faculty member at the school.

Doctor Hobbs is now Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, and is organizing the 50th anniversary of desegregation at that college. He joins us from Augusta to discuss decades of work in elevating African-American doctors at the school.