“Heirs to a Legacy of Struggle”
Charlayne Hunter Integrates the
University of Georgia
Charlayne Hunter Gault
On January 9, 1961, I walked onto the campus at the
University of Georgia to begin registering for classes.
Ordinarily, there would not have been anything un-
usual about such a routine exercise, except, in this in-
stance, the officials at the university had been fight-
ing for a year and a half to keep me out. I was not so-
cially, intellectually, or morally undesirable. I was
Black. And no Black student had ever been admitted
to the University of Georgia in its 176-year history.
—Charlayne Hunter Gault, 19931
And so it began, a new history for the University, the state, and for my classmate Hamilton Earl Holmes and me. I was nineteen and he was twenty and neither one of us had given much thought to making history. What we wanted, in a real sense, was to fulfill our dreams— dreams that we had nurtured for as long as we could remember. Hamilton wanted to be a medical doctor, to follow in the footsteps of his doctor grandfather, who had a medical practice in Atlanta, on “Sweet Auburn Avenue,” a dynamic hub of black business and professional activity that was a source of pride not only in Atlanta, but all over the country. Blacks, of course, had no choice but to locate in their own communities because this was what the law demanded. This was the Deep South and laws dating back to 1896 when the ruling in