When a College is Historically White, Then Black, Then White Again: Black History Month

The University of South Carolina was founded by a state charter in 1801 and was the 23rd college founded in the United States. It was only for white people. When South Carolina started the Civil War, the students went off to fight for the South and the school closed, then it was occupied by Northern forces. After the war (1865) it was reopened under South Carolina’s reconstruction government.library reading room

They, the reconstructionists, made the school open to Black people. And it wasn’t just the students. One of the new professors they hired after the war ended was Richard Theodore Greener, America’s first Black professor at any state run flagship university (he was also the first Black person to graduate from Harvard). By 1875 ninety percent of the student body were Black.

When reconstruction was abandoned and democrats retook the state government (1876), they quickly closed the school down. Then in 1880 they reopened the school, but only to White people. After the passing of Brown vs. the Board of Education, which outlawed segregation, USC became the nation’s first college to require an entrance exam. That was 1954. The school did not admit any Black students till 1963.museum

Mind you, Professor Greener (who left the school when the democrats closed it down) graduated Harvard back in 1870, almost 100 years earlier.

History is not a straight line ascending up and up eternally. It weaves a drunkards path, back and forth, forward and back. Forward progress is not, and has never been, natural or inevitable.

the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Tar Heels

Baby blue,sky blue, powder blue, all the same color and to many, a list of evil misleading misnomers. It is, always has been, and always will be Carolina blue.bell tower

The school first opened its doors in 1789, which is a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure the sky was already blue back then.

The school has an enrollment of 29 thousand students, who were all babies before they were Tar Heels.

I’m not sure why powder blue is called powder blue, so I will ignore that one for now.bookstore

No matter how many others have claim to the color and no matter how sound your argument, you will not win if your position is anything other than “that” color is and always will be, Carolina blue.

It is just this sort of illogic, this kind of driven devotion, that drives everyone from any other school insane while simultaneously driving its school to be ranked the #5 public school in the country, #30 overall.quad

It is also the sort of insanity that has produced, or perhaps lured, the two most dominant athletes to ever play their respective sports, Lawrence Taylor and Michael Jordan.

This sporting prowess has placed the school in a position where young children, like myself some time ago, who have never been within 1,000 miles of Chapel Hill, never even heard of the idea of a liberal arts college, still know very well what and who the Tar Heels are.student center

But even with all these championships to win, and all these top notch classes to attend, the students still find time to make an attempt at setting a world record for most people spooning.

Aaaaaah college.