What accounts for the variation in southern state colleges and universities responses to initial desegregation? This article analyzes southern state university responses to qualified Black students’ applications to historically white public colleges. Furthermore, the study tests V.O. Key’s hypothesis in Southern Politics in State and Nation—that the most significant factor in southern political development was the relative concentration of Black population density—to determine whether this was an explanatory factor in university desegregation. A preliminary examination of each southern state’s first Black university student entrance led to four case studies that reveal university policies, legal precedents, actors, and heightened expectations influenced social and political environments that affected the level of resistance to desegregation and university policy decision-making.
The Journal of Negro Education (JNE), a refereed scholarly periodical, was founded at Howard University in 1932 to fill the need for a scholarly journal that would identify and define the problems that characterized the education of Black people in the United States and elsewhere, provide a forum for analysis and solutions, and serve as a vehicle for sharing statistics and research on a national basis. JNE sustains a commitment to a threefold mission: first, to stimulate the collection and facilitate the dissemination of facts about the education of Black people; second, to present discussions involving critical appraisals of the proposals and practices relating to the education of Black people; and third, to stimulate and sponsor investigations of issues incident to the education of Black people.