WSB-TV newsfilm clip of reporter Lo Jelks interviewing administrators and students about the possibility of merging two colleges, one historically white and one historically African American, in Savannah, Georgia, 1970 May 11

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of reporter Lo Jelks interviewing administrators and students about the possibility of merging two colleges, one historically white and one historically African American, in Savannah, Georgia, 1970 May 11

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Creator:WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Title:WSB-TV newsfilm clip of reporter Lo Jelks interviewing administrators and students about the possibility of merging two colleges, one historically white and one historically African American, in Savannah, Georgia, 1970 May 11
Date:1970 May 11
Description:

Reporter: Jelks, Lo, 1939-.

In this WSB newsfilm clip from May 11, 1970, reporter Lo Jelks interviews administration and students about the possibility of merging the two colleges in Savannah, Georgia, the historically white Armstrong State College and the historically African American Savannah State College.

The clip begins with an African American student leaving a building and walking across a field at Savannah State College. Next, the camera focuses on a sign for Armstrong State College. The sign indicates that the school is part of the University System of Georgia and was founded in 1935. The camera moves to show campus buildings. On the lawn, white students read and nap. Other students sit on benches. Later an interracial group of students walk down the sidewalks. Inside a classroom, a white professor teaches a math or science class. In another room, an African American man, possibly Savannah State President Dr. Howard Jordan, speaks with Lo Jelks, an African American reporter. In another classroom, a nun teaches African American students. After this, the clip returns to the interview with Dr. Jordan. In the interview, Jelks and Dr. Jordan speak about the federal lawsuit alleging a segregated system of higher education in Georgia. Dr. Jordan counters the claim of a dual system of college education. He points out some of the differences between college and elementary and high schools. While the government mandates elementary and secondary education, college is a choice. Students are not assigned which college to attend but make that choice themselves. In this light, Dr. Jordan does not believe that tactics used to fight segregation in elementary or high schools, such as busing or school assignment, would work on the college level.

After Dr. Jordan's comments, reporter Jelks speaks to a female African American college student. The young woman does not feel the two Savannah colleges should be merged because she believes Savannah State has more to offer than Armstrong State does. Later Jelks interviews a young African American man. The young man supports the idea of merging the two schools. He believes that such a merger would result in a stronger, better institution and would strengthen the community.

Following these student interviews, Jelks walks across campus at Armstrong State with a white man, possibly college president Henry L. Ashmore. The clip shows other views of campus as well as white students sitting on a blanket on the lawn. Jelks later interviews a female student from Armstrong State. The young woman supports merging the schools for the benefit of the students as well as for the possibility of the financial benefit of not operating two colleges in the community. A young man also interviewed by Jelks disagrees and feels that two schools allows students to have more choices. The clip ends with Jelks reviewing the situation. He explains that some people have been critical of the University System of Georgia maintaining the historically white Armstrong State College and the historically African American Savannah State College. Jelks explains that the administration at both schools defends the existing system. He reports that many communities question the use of state and federal funds to support two schools. Before signing off, he mentions a future program examining the higher education situation in Albany, Georgia.

During the 1970s several lawsuits charged that the University System of Georgia continued to discriminate against students in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The lawsuits pointed to the two colleges in Savannah, historically white Armstrong State and historically African American Savannah State, as proof the discrimination within the University System. Officials at both schools pointed to efforts to develop joint degree programs and other cooperative measures as a counter to these lawsuits. In 1973, Georgia and several other states accused of maintaining dual education systems were ordered to develop desegregation plans or risk loosing federal funds. Between 1971 and 1979, Georgia submitted four versions of a plan to desegregate the University System. While the final plan did not merge Savannah State and Armstrong State, the two schools were required to adjust several educational programs in the fall of 1979. At that time, all of the education programs were moved to Savannah State College, now Savannah State University, and all of the business programs were moved to Armstrong State College, now Armstrong Atlantic University.

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.

Types:Moving images | News | Unedited footage
Subjects:Jelks, Lo, 1939- | Jordan, Howard | Ashmore, Henry L., 1905-1986 | Universities and Colleges--Georgia--Savannah | African American universities and colleges--Georgia--Savannah | College students--Georgia--Savannah | African American college students--Georgia--Savannah | Interviews--Georgia--Savannah | Reporters and reporting--Georgia--Savannah | Segregation in higher education--Georgia--Savannah | Discrimination--Georgia--Savannah | College campuses--Georgia--Savannah | Race relations | College teachers--Georgia--Savannah | Savannah (Ga.)--Race relations--History--20th century | United States. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare | Savannah State College (Ga.) | Armstrong State College (Ga.) | Savannah (Ga.) | Chatham County (Ga.)
Collection:
Institution:Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Contributors:Jelks, Lo, 1939- | Jelks, Lo, 1939- | Jordan, Howard | Digital Library of Georgia | Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection | Civil Rights Digital Library Collection (Digital Library of Georgia)
Online Publisher:Athens, Ga. : Digital Library of Georgia and Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia Libraries | 2007
Original Material:

1 clip (about 5 min.): color, sound ; 16 mm.

Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.

Rights and Usage:

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of reporter Lo Jelks interviewing administrators and students about the possibility of merging two colleges, one historically white and one historically African American, in Savannah, Georgia, 1970 May 11, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1638, 22:45/27:20, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Related Materials:

Forms part of: Civil Rights Digital Library.

Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/id:ugabma_wsbn_59616