Lawyers v. Educators: Black Colleges and Desegregation in Public Higher Education

By Jean L. Preer | Go to book overview

3
Sipuel: Arguments in Transition

Taking account of the Constitution of North Carolina,
the decision of the United States Supreme Court, and the
clear intent of the legislature of North Carolina, I have
pledged as far as my lawful responsibility permits, the
cooperation of the University of North Carolina with the
North Carolina College for Negroes and the North
Carolina Agricultural and Technical College for Negroes
toward a more adequate provision for Negroes in the
public schools, higher standard Negro undergraduate
colleges, and a substantial beginning in the provision for
graduate and professional work. This may seem to you to
be an inadequate and minimum program, but it is going
to take the cooperation and struggle of us all to bring it
to pass. The present alternative is a throwback against
whose consequences we must unceasingly be on guard in
the best interests of both races, who after all go up or
down together. 1

President Frank Graham of the University
of North Carolina to Pauli Murray, 1939

The framing of the Gaines2 case and the opinion of the Supreme Court intertwined two distinct but related issues. The first issue concerned the need for vastly improved, state-supported higher educational opportunities for Negroes throughout the South. The second one questioned whether a state met its constitutional duty by providing separate educational facilities for blacks and whites. Within a legal framework of segregation, the creation of Negro colleges and the level of financial support for Negro higher education were matters of legislative choice. Assuming that a state provided equal, although separate, facilities for both races, the question remained whether racial separation itself complied with the Constitution. For tactical reasons, the early suits of the NAACP fused the two questions. The Association sought to achieve a sort of de facto integration, securing the admission of black students to all-white graduate and professional schools by proving the

-63-

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Lawyers v. Educators: Black Colleges and Desegregation in Public Higher Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in American Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - The Morrill Act of 1890: Separate Black Public Colleges 5
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Gaines: Equal Access or Equal Opportunity? 31
  • Notes 56
  • 3 - Sipuel: Arguments in Transition 63
  • Notes 88
  • 4 - Sweatt: Dubious Precedent 95
  • Notes 121
  • 5 - Hawkins: Conditions That Now Prevail 127
  • Notes 152
  • 6 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964: from Segregation to Discrimination 157
  • Notes 183
  • 7 - Adams: Racial Identifiability and Black Public Colleges 189
  • Notes 222
  • Conclusion 233
  • Notes 241
  • List of Cases and Statutes 243
  • Bibliography 247
  • Index 271
  • About the Author 279
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