You name it, we can't do it. That was how one African American
student at the University of Texas at Austin summed up his
experiences in a 1960 newspaper article--some ten years after the
beginning of court-mandated desegregation at the school. In this
first full-length history of the university's desegregation, Dwonna
Goldstone examines how, for decades, administrators only gradually
undid the most visible signs of formal segregation while putting
their greatest efforts into preventing true racial integration. In
response to the 1956 Board of Regents decision to admit African
American undergraduates, for example, the dean of students and the
director of the student activities center stopped scheduling dances
to prevent racial intermingling in a social setting.
Goldstone's coverage ranges from the 1950 U.S. Supreme Court
ruling that the University of Texas School of Law had to admit
Heman Sweatt, an African American, through the 1994 Hopwood v.
Texas decision, which ended affirmative action in the state's
public institutions of higher education. She draws on oral
histories, university documents, and newspaper accounts to detail
how the university moved from open discrimination to foot-dragging
acceptance to mixed successes in the integration of athletics,
classrooms, dormitories, extracurricular activities, and student
recruitment. Goldstone incorporates not only the perspectives of
university administrators, students, alumni, and donors, but also
voices from all sides of the civil rights movement at the local and
national level. This instructive story of power, race, money, and
politics remains relevant to the modern university and the
continuing question about what it means to be integrated.
Subjects: History, Political Science, Education
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