Creating Caring and Nurturing Educational Environments for African American Children

By Vivian Gunn Morris; Curtis L. Morris | Go to book overview

As Gunn reflected on what he did in enrolling at Florence State College in 1963, he remarked: “I was only nineteen when I applied for admission, so I was very naive. But, as I think about it, I am shocked that my parents supported me in this, because they knew better.” Yes, they knew better. They knew that they wanted a better life for their three children. His parents had already helped to support his older brother and sister complete their college degrees at historically black colleges far from home. And at one time, all three children were in college. His parents also knew that they had paid taxes for years to support Florence State and other Alabama state-supported colleges, colleges their children could not attend. African Americans were present at Florence State, but they did not attend classes. They cooked and cleaned for those who did attend classes and sent their own children to colleges miles from home. His parents knew that it was time for one of their children to gain the right to attend the state-supported college next door. And Wendell Gunn did, as the college newspaper noted, “with grace and courage.” And many of his neighbors, friends, and family members followed in his footsteps, including African American graduates of Trenholm High School and Deshler High School in Tuscumbia.


REFERENCES

Arehart, C. M. (1963, August 31). Letter addressed to Wendell W. Gunn, Tuscumbia, AL.

Ayers, B. D., Jr. (1973, November 19). Southern Black mayors give Wallace standing ovation at a conference. The New York Times, p. 25.

Bauer, C. M. (1977). John F. Kennedy and the second reconstruction. New York: Columbia University Press.

Blacks at bama. (1979, Winter). The University of Alabama Alumni News, 60 (1), 6–23.

Dr. Rose’s stand. (1979, Winter). The University of Alabama Alumni News, 60 (1), 24–27.

First black graduates to a standing ovation. (1972, December 3). The Flora Ala, Florence State University, Florence, AL.

Foscue, L. (1963, August 30). FSC told to enroll Negro, 20. Tri-Cities Daily, p. 1.

Fred D. Gray of Tuskegee is among first recipients of ABA spirit of excellence awards. (1996, January). Chicago: American Bar Association. Web Site: http://www.abanet.org/media/jan96/tuskegee.html.

FSU accepts first Negro Wednesday. (1963, September 12). Tri-Cities Daily, p. 1.

Gunn, W. W. (1963, July 29). Letter addressed to Dr. E. B. Norton, President, Florence State College, Florence, AL.

Gunn v. Norton and Arehart. (1963, August 20). Ca 63–418. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Birmingham, AL.

Negroes to ask university admission. (1955, June 30). The Florence Times, pp. 1–2.

Norton, E. B. (1963a, July 18). Memorandum addressed to Mr. C. M. Arehart, Registrar Florence State College, Florence, AL.

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