Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Rolling My Wheels Past Midwestern State University Desegregation American Idiocracy Reminder

I enjoy rolling my bike's wheel on the MSU (Midwestern State University) when school is not in session, such as a day like today, which is Sunday.

With the children not in school it makes for a much less busy, less congested college campus, hence easy peaceful wheel rolling.

Today I came upon a couple things I had not come across before. One being the fountain you see my handlebars looking at.

Spouting fountains are usually a pleasant restful thing to enjoy for a moment or two. This MSU fountain was no exception to that pleasant restful rule.

After a minute or two of listening to and looking at the fountain I looked to my right, which was to the south, to see a Texas Historical Marker.

What piece of history could this be marking, I wondered? So, I hopped back on board my bike and rolled its handlebars south for a closer look at what this historical marker had to say...

Midwestern University Desegregation

In 1948, Emzy Downing and James O. Chandler, both graduated from the African American High School in Wichita Falls, Booker T. Washington High School, applied for admission to Hardin Junior College, a division of Midwestern University. The Board of Trustees denied their admission. In 1950, with encouragement from local NAACP leader Professor C.E. Jackson, Willie Faye Battle, an honor graduate, applied by mail for admission to the two-year nursing school at Hardin Junior College. She was accepted, but when she and Professor Jackson went to the school to complete the application process, she was denied admission. Subsequently she was accepted to Prairie View A & M University.

In the Fall of 1951, Ms. Battle along with Maryland Virginia Menefee, Helen Muriel Davis, Golden E. Mitchell White, Carl Lawrence McBride and Wilma Jean Norris were encouraged to apply in person. Each applicant received rejected letters in the mail. Following this incident, a meeting was held between the University Board of Trustees and Representatives of the Texas State Council. Alternative solutions were discussed such as a college at Booker T. Washington High School or Midwestern paying the tuition for African American students to attend African American colleges. These alternatives were rejected and a suit was filed in United States District Court, the first of its type. Initially, Battle et al. v. Wichita Falls Junior College Dist., was decided in favor of the students, but, with Appeals and Injunctions, the final decision came through the Supreme Court in 1954, following the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Ruling, the first African American students were enrolled in the Summer of 1954.

Well, we Americans have come a long way since the 1950s. Yet somehow, with the ascendancy of the American Idiocracy, we seem to be falling backwards. Hopefully, this latest iteration of the American Idiocracy will soon cease being ascendant and American Democracy will be back being ascendant....

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