In this WSB newsfilm clip from January 1961, several unidentified white students at the University of Georgia debate the university's court-ordered integration and the admission of African American students Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes. The debating students, standing on the steps of a campus building, are divided by their opinion; those against African American students at the university stand on the left and the student arguing for the African American students at the university stands on the right. The students against integration argue that the state provides educational institutions for African Americans and ask why Holmes and Hunter do not want to attend those institutions. The student for integration explains that the African American colleges do not provide the same opportunities as white colleges. One of the students against integration responds that the University of Georgia also pays to send African American students to out-of-state institutions if they want to go. The student for integration asks his fellow debaters if they would like to have to attend school out of state instead of having the privilege of staying close to home. The students against integration repeat that the state provides African American institutions, adding that African Americans would not be able to build the schools without the state's financial support. The student for integration counters that African Americans do not have the same employment opportunities and so do not pay as much in taxes as white citizens. Continuing, he asserts that the African American students seeking integration want to improve their economic and educational status. He concludes by asking if African Americans are lesser citizens of the state than those with whom he is debating.
During the 1950s, African American Horace T. Ward unsuccessfully sought to attend the University of Georgia Law school. In 1959, Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes applied to attend the university' but their applications were denied, allegedly based on lack of space. After several other unsuccessful attempts, lawyers for Hunter and Holmes filed a federal lawsuit. On January 6, 1961 federal judge William A. Bootle ordered that the university could not refuse the students admission based solely on their race. Hunter and Holmes began attending the university January 11, 1961, ending 176 of segregation on the campus. Although some white students and citizens felt the university should be closed rather than agree to federally-ordered integration, state officials chose to keep the school open.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
|Rights and Usage:|
Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of students debating integration at the University of Georgia following the court-ordered admission of African American students Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes in Athens, Georgia, 1961 January, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0815, 49:56/51:40, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.