Nathan B. Young and the Struggle over Black Higher Education

By Antonio F. Holland | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
The End of a Career

The Lincoln University that Nathan B. Young left to his successor in 1931 was radically different and a stronger institution than the one he found when he arrived in 1923. Young's role as a builder, however, was not an easy one. From the very beginning, he faced strong opposition to his plans. The elimination of such trades as tailoring and shoemaking, the closing of the elementary school, and the emphasis on degrees for teachers all were opposed by those faculty members who felt threatened by the changes. The first opposition to Young came only two months after his inaugural address, when charges were made that he was bringing in unqualified teachers. The teachers that Young brought from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College stirred a great deal of opposition, both on and off the campus. These outsiders fed the fire of resentment already burning in such Lincoln faculty members as S. F. Collins and J. W. Darnel.1

1. Savage, History of Lincoln, 186–87; Wolters, The New Negro on Campus,
209–10. Interview with Professor James D. Parks, August 1981, Jefferson
City. Professor Parks particularly remembers J. B. Coleman of Columbia,
who would serve on the board after 1929, complaining about the hiring of
teachers from Florida and not Missouri. Coleman, like all of these politi-
cians, was a supporter of vocational education rather than liberal arts.
Coleman was also active in Negro lodge organizations with J. W. Darnel
and C. G. Williams. Interview with Judge Nathan B. Young, Jr., July 1981,
St. Louis. Young feels that the situation his father faced in Florida was more

-152-

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