In this WSB newsfilm clip from Athens, Georgia in January 1961, unidentified white students at the University of Georgia respond to a reporter's questions regarding the university's integration as they stand in front of Sanford Stadium. The interview of the first student is not completely recorded, but the student does indicate that there is a difference in feeling regarding integration between his father's generation and the students currently enrolled in the university. The second student affirms his belief in the equality of man and doesn't believe the university's integration will effect his education. The third student interviewed agrees that integration at the university will not effect his education. When asked about his parents' feelings on the situation, the student replies that while his parents help fund his education, he thinks that they will trust his decision. The fourth student who also believes in the equality of man asserts that students who pass the requirements to attend the university should be able to do so, regardless of their race. When asked about the opinion of other students on campus, he replies that he knows there is a variety of opinions on campus, but still believes that integration should be tried.
Next, the reporter interviews a female student, identified as Denoe "DeeDee" Bireley from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Bireley says that she doesn't believe that people on campus will like integration. She adds that she, like other people from Ft. Lauderdale, does not associate with African Americans; however, she thinks her parents would still want her to get an education. If integration begins at the university, she says, the university will not go back to being segregated. The next student, possibly junior Mary King, believes that African Americans as university day students would not be much of a problem, confirming that she would not have a problem with attending classes with a black student. However she believes that there would be problems if an African American student lived in the dormitories. While the trouble in such a situation may not be violent, she asserts that the other girls in the dorm would resent an African American student. King is next asked about criticism of athletics at the university made by a Dr. Condit; neither the reporter nor the student explain who Dr. Condit is or what his criticism entails. She replies that while she has not participated in any sporting events on campus, she believes competition is good for school spirit and feels the university would be harmed if athletics ended. The reporter again speaks to Bireley, asking her about Dr. Condit's comments. After a misunderstanding, Bireley responds that she believes the whole school should be involved in football and school spirit because education is more than just studying. Another male student interviewed by the reporter in the school of arts and sciences feels that too many resources are going to athletics instead of academics. After the person-on-the-street interviews, Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, the first two African American students at the university, are seen walking on campus. A reporter asks Hunter about the ruling, but her reply is not recorded. Finally, Hunter and Holmes get into a car, refusing to answer more questions from reporters.
Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes first applied to the University of Georgia in the summer of 1959 but were denied based on lack of space according to the university. After several other unsuccessful applications, lawyers for the two students filed a federal lawsuit against the university. On January 6, 1961 federal judge William A. Bootle ordered the university to admit the students and to stop rejecting applicants solely based on race; Hunter and Holmes began attending classes at the University of Georgia on January 11, ending 176 years of segregation.
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.
Local identification number: Clip number: wsbn42771