Creating Caring and Nurturing Educational Environments for African American Children

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

CHAPTER 8
From Segregation Forever to Black Is Beautiful: Access to Higher Education in Alabama Next Door

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny. And I say, Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!

Governor George C. Wallace, Inaugural Address, January 14, 1963


A PIECE OF CAKE: COURT ORDERS COMPLETED

For decades, Trenholm High School graduates traveled many miles from home and incurred unnecessary debts to pursue college degrees at historically black colleges and universities, while Florence State College (now the University of North Alabama) was literally next door, only six miles away. Chapter 8 describes some of the events that took place when Wendell Wilkie Gunn, a native of Tuscumbia who attended Trenholm High School, enrolled as the first African American at Florence State College ( FSC). Included in this chronicle is a description of some of the actions Governor George C. Wallace took to resist the desegregation of state colleges and universities in Alabama.

Wendell Gunn completed kindergarten through grade nine at Trenholm High School and grades 10-12 at Nashville Christian Institute. Before applying to Florence State College, he completed two years plus one quarter of course work as a student at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College ( Tennessee A & I) in Nashville. He had originally pursued a major in foreign languages, but later changed to chemistry. Gunn was always active in extracurricular activities. At Trenholm, he was a member of the marching and concert

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