Dates: December 5, 2012-March 3, 2013
Location: Rare Book Room cases (directly outside the Biddle Rare Book Room, Perkins Library)
Online Exhibit: http://exhibits.library.duke.edu/exhibits/show/desegregation
Contact Information: Valerie Gillispie, valerie.gillispie(at)duke.edu

Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, Nathaniel White, Jr., and Mary Mitchell Harris, the first African-American undergraduates to receive degrees from Duke University.

Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke, Nathaniel White, Jr., and Mary Mitchell Harris, the first African-American undergraduates to receive degrees from Duke University. From the University Archives Photograph Collection.

Fifty years ago, Duke University first admitted African-American students into its undergraduate classes. Drawing upon the collections of the Duke University Archives, “The Road to Desegregation at Duke” uses historic photographs, correspondence, flyers, newspapers, and more to tell the story of how Duke became a more diverse university.

The exhibit examines the contributions of African Americans at Duke prior to integration, the process of desegregation at the University, and the ways in which black students have shaped Duke since 1963.

Part of a larger, campus-wide commemoration of this milestone anniversary, “The Road to Desegregation” is a thought-provoking look at why Duke changed, and what it meant to become a truly integrated university.

If you’re not able to visit the Duke University Libraries to see the exhibit, please have a look at the online exhibit!

Post contributed by exhibit curators Valerie Gillispie, University Archivist, and Maureen McCormick, Isobel Craven Drill Intern.




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