Partial Transcript: I think when you talk to me you’re talking to maybe a little different person because I was raised in Athens. I went to high school here. I know the complete history of the integration of the University of Georgia. I’ll tell you a little story.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discusses what he witnessed and experienced during the initial integration of UGA.
Keywords: Howard High, Turner High, Hamilton Holmes, Fort Valley State, Morris Brown, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Donald Hollowell, NAACP Defense Fund, Varsity, Klu Klux Klan, Savannah State, scholarship
Partial Transcript: So I was a 19 year old kid on his own so I come over and file my application and I met the registrar named Walter [Daniel?] who is now dead and he told me that I could not get in.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discusses why he decided to attend the University of Georgia, what it took to be accepted and his first impression of campus.
Keywords: Registrar, Otis Johnson, Harold Black, Playboy
Partial Transcript: Well, now when I was in school we started a Black Student Union. There were no black fraternity, black sororities on campus or anything so we started the Black Student Union to advocate for the rights of black students.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discusses how the BSU was created and a few of the demands that were made by BSU to campus leaders in order to create a healthier environment for black students. He also discusses the experience of being the first black to attempt to play UGA football as well as what it was like to be a black UGA sports fan.
Keywords: Black athletes, scholarships, football, Davison, Dixie, National Anthem, Bulldog Fan, G-Day, Dooley, Dean Tate, Justice Benham
Partial Transcript: We had what we called a ‘Black house’. Yeah we had a house called The Black House. Out there on Lumpkin Street. And that’s where we met.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discussed how he and other blacks gathered and the impression that their gatherings left on the rest of the majority white campus. He also discusses his search for the genius on campus.
Keywords: The Black House, Sorority and Fraternity, test, polarization, Civil Rights Movement, Otis Johnson, Dean Tate, Zell Phillips, Anderson Williams, Mary Blackwell, Joe Sell
Partial Transcript: And I was the first black student that had gone undergrad to law school. I was the first Double Dog. Black Double Dog.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discusses how his and his fellow black classmates’ demands for equality continued even after getting accepted and attending law school.
Keywords: Thespian Debate Society, Justice Benham, Confederate Flag, Football protest sign, Warren McVeigh, Houston, stadium, fight, black athletes, scholarship
Partial Transcript: Played during the time I was in school, when I was in school the games were not all played in the coliseum. They had Woodrow Hall and it was too small so you had to pull straws to get in.
Segment Synopsis: Dious discusses the different types of events on campus and fond memories of some of the concerts.
Keywords: Black performers, Ray Charles, curfew, basketball, black sections
Partial Transcript: What officially happened to the University of Georgia is that I was a lawyer when they filed in the University of Georgia affirmative action program.
Segment Synopsis: Dious discusses how the loss of Affirmative Action affected the campus and what role he played as the case found its way in court.
Keywords: SAT scores, Whoop Cases, Brunswick, Ga, Lucy Cobb House, Lee Parks, Hope Grant
Partial Transcript: They didn’t look down at the undergrad kids (within UGA), they would go to Morehouse, Spellman, and try to get their best students to come.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discusses his surprise at who UGA seemed to be in favor of attending the UGA Law School.
Keywords: Spellman, Tuskegee, BASA, University of Oklahoma, Mary Frances Early
Partial Transcript: You know, I didn’t think it would be any problem. Well the thing that surprised me, I thought that I got a little brainwashed saying that you can’t go to school with these students.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discusses his search for the elusive geniuses that he was supposed to run into while attending the University of Georgia as he went about learning and connecting with others on campus.
Keywords: Base programming language, trigonometry, calculus, cost-accounting, Lockheed
Partial Transcript: When I was at Savannah State the difference in the schools were when I was at Savannah state they had calculators, one calculator. We had to get in line to use it. When I came to Georgia business school, they had so many in the basement the guys used to go down there and play with them in general.
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Dious discusses how attending UGA enriched his life. The trials that came with attending as an African American readied him for life after college.
Keywords: Black professor, black student, Lassiter
Partial Transcript: Matter of fact the way I ended up playing again was a friend of mine that was in school named Carter. He said he wanted to go out for the football team but he didn’t want to go out by himself.
Segment Synopsis: Dious discusses how and why he joins the football team. He also explains the reaction he received from coaches, players and the certain groups outside of UGA.
Keywords: Dooley, basketball, football, baseball, swimming, YMCA
Partial Transcript: But my mother would not let me go over and socialize and work with whites. I didn’t know anything about the white community. So I never got embedded to saying ‘yes, sir’, ‘no, sir’. I didn’t know anything about that. I didn’t think about that at all.
Segment Synopsis: Dious gives us a peek into his childhood. He discusses where his fearless mindset comes from.
Partial Transcript: I remember when I was a kid and George Wallace ran for governor for Alabama. Actually George Wallace had decided, him and the governor in front of him, that they were going to try to get together and solve some problems that blacks were having in Alabama
Segment Synopsis: Dious recounts events that led to the desegregation of sports in the southeast United States.
Keywords: Richmond Flowers Sr., Richmond Flowers, Jr., Bear Bryant, Alabama, Tennessee, Sam the Bam Cunningham, Southern California, NCAA tournament
VJ: Venus Jackson KD: Ken Dious
VJ: Alright, it is March 11, 2020. I am here at the Special Collections Buildingat UGA. I am Venus Jackson and I'm here with Attorney Ken Dious. I am so excited. And Mr. Dious, I believe you got your undergrad, masters and your law degree here at UGA, correct?
KD: Alright, I didn't quite finish the masters. I was ten hours short in themasters for math education and I decided to go to work with my undergrad degree because it paid more.
KD: It was a business degree and it would pay me more than a school teacherdegree with a masters. I went to work with Lockheed, Marietta Lockheed. They made this big airplane at this time, C5A.
KD: I worked in the cost accounting department.
VJ: Okay. Well, okay so you got down to 10 hours and decided that that wasn't00:01:00what you wanted to or that the position didn't interest you, is that what--
KD: Yeah it was doubtful I would have been a good teacher -- the program waskind of geared toward going back being a teacher. They were trying to get more black males into teaching at that time.
KD: And the people that were in the program with me, not just black males, itwas a lot of black females too. They all went back to teaching.
KD: They are all retired now, I'm still working.
VJ: And you're still working.
KD: Yeah, I should have stayed back, l stayed in teaching.
VJ: But it's keeping you young though, right? [laughter]
KD: Let's say busy.
VJ: Okay, so while you were here at UGA, what was your overall impression ofyour time here?
KD: My experience?
KD: I think when you talk to me you're talking to maybe a little differentperson because I was raised in Athens. I went to high school here. I know the 00:02:00complete history of the integration of the University of Georgia. I'll tell you a little story. You want to hear a little story?
KD: That most people don't realize. When I was 12 years old, my brother and themhere had a good football team. He was five years older than I was. He was a senior and I was in the 7th grade. But we always played the schools out of Atlanta: Turner High, Howard High, all black high schools out of Atlanta. And one of the teams that we'd play was Turner High. Turner High is where Hamilton Holmes went to High School. So I'm there as a little kid listening to the radio in the 7th grade. My brother and them went up to play Turner High. Good game. And the guy they had problems stopping was a running back named Hamilton Holmes. 00:03:00
KD: Then the first time I ever saw Hamilton Holmes-- After the football season,I was still in the 7th grade. He came down here and played basketball. Two teams played basketball against each other also. And he was a little 5'9" point guard out there. At that time, people weren't quite as tall. And he was a great athlete. So when my brother and them graduated, I decided to go out for the football team early in the 8th grade, really too early.
But all those guys had a great team so they decided they were going to differentschools: Fort Valley State, Morehouse, Morris Brown, wherever, whatever. And I told him, I said "You know I wanna keep up with this guy Hamilton Homes. I wanna how did he do?" So when they came home after their first year of college and I'm in the 8th grade now. I asked him-- you know we talking and those were my 00:04:00brother's friend and they were only 5 years older. How did Hamilton Holmes do against you? A guy from Albany said they only put him in the game for 2 minutes. He didn't play. I was shocked. But years later you-- History teaches you that Hamilton Holmes did not play because they did not want him to get hurt at Morehouse because he had already been chosen to integrate the University of Georgia.
VJ: Oh. Wow.
KD: Yep. It didn't just haphazardly happen. He and Charlayne Hunter had alreadybeen chosen.
VJ: They had already been chosen.
KD: Donald Hollowell. After I became a lawyer, Donald Hollowell, the lawyer thatof course [did the team] with Constance Baker Motley. I'm not sure people know who that is. She's the first black female that got a federal judgeship but at that time she was working with what you call the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. How 00:05:00all this integration stuff occurred, you have to understand that the Legal Defense Fund in New York, where I eventually ended up working, separated from the regular NAACP and they called it the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. They separated in 1959 because of tax reasons. So the NAACP that most people know is headquartered in Baltimore. You buy in NAACP your membership goes to Baltimore who have maybe 1 or 2 lawyers. But all the litigation that you ever heard about or read about comes out of New York from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. That probably have-- I don't know how many lawyers now, probably 50 to 60 lawyers. And that's all they have up there is lawyers. They don't do the marches or anything. So Donald Hollowell and Constance Baker Motley from the defense fund filed the desegregation for Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter to come to the University of Georgia. It was the first case filed in the south. That's how that occurred. 00:06:00
So the first time I met Hamilton Holmes in 1961 or something like that, I was anathlete. As I said I was going to play basketball in high school. So when he was at the University in the afternoon just to get a break or get away for exercise. Since he had played basketball here with his high school, he would come over to our basketball practices and practice with us. He would be on the scrub team or whatever and play. Matter of fact, he taught me how to use my left hand. So I knew Hamilton Holmes ever since I was in high school.
KD: So he would sometimes bring us back over to his room over in-- can'tremember the name of the dorm. But I was also out there when I was in high school when the mob was outside of [cinemas?] over on Baxter street where Charlayne Hunter stayed. And, you know, kid running around. We said 'wow they go 00:07:00in that dorm what are we going to do?' Six or seven of us supposed to be little bigtime football players. We gonna have to go in and save this girl but they never-- they all just stood across the street and a big mob showed up. Us students from the University of Georgia. These were not just people from the city. These were University of Georgia students protesting her being there. It was a good sized group of students out there. You've got to remember at that time the University of Georgia was only composed of about 18, 000 students.
In my experience, how did I get to the University of Georgia?
VJ: But now you were saying that you were ready to protect her from the mob ifneeded be.
KD: Yes, we had no choice. Yes.
VJ: Okay, yes.
KD: Of course, I remember when Hamilton Holmes first came to town, he did notstay on campus. He stayed at the Killian residence and an adult man with a 00:08:00shotgun then had to stay at that residence to protect Hamilton Holmes.
KD: Yes, I remember that skit. I was-- I guess I was 14-15 years old then. Atthat time all the stuff occurred in Athens including the marches, sit-in marches and so forth that I participated in as a kid at the Varsity.
KD: I'm an old acquaintance with the Klan, the Ku Klux Klan, yes. They woretheir robes and everything. Then we had to fight until they finally decided that they were going to integrate. The Varsity and so forth.
VJ: So you were in on the sit-ins at the Varsity?
KD: Yes. So how I got to the University of Georgia? I played a year ofbasketball at Savannah State after my first year of college there. And I wasn't 00:09:00going to play anymore ball because I had gotten hurt a couple of times. And mom had said forget it, you aren't going to play college ball or anything. But I was down there playing ball and the coach said, 'I like your game, you make my team and I'll give you a scholarship'. And he did. A part-time scholarship. At that time black schools and probably even today don't give outright full scholarships. And I played for a year and then my father got sick and even with the scholarship that they ere giving me, I could not attend Savannah State unless I was going to borrow money. So I decided to transfer to the University of Georgia.
KD: Now mind you I did not have Donald Hollowell. I did not know him except Ihad seen him as a kid. So I was a 19-year-old kid on his own so I come over and file my application and I met the registrar named Walter Danner, who is now dead, and he told me that I could not get in. I went back the second time 00:10:00because I had excellent grades and I had passed my SAT scores and my grades from high school and Savannah State so I could get in. So he and I went back and forth even though they even already had black students from Athens. Mary Blackwell was here. Joe Lister was here. Of course, they were from Athens. Then you had Harold Black was already here. Guy named Eugene was already here. Ahh, who was already here? Of course, I knew these people from Athens. I didn't know the other students that were already here. And of course Holmes by that time had already graduated. He was gone. So they were the marines and we were the army coming in.
KD: So I finally went back after threatening and finally he gave in about a00:11:00month before school started in August. We started school in September. We started late then. State schools were the last ones that went to school so they didn't start schools then until September. The last week in September and maybe about three before that due, it came in the mail, my acceptance.
KD: So I didn't know what I was going to do. I was prepared to do something. Itlooked like I was going in the army or something but it came in the mail and I popped up on campus. And I think at that time when I popped up on campus, maybe there was somewhere there were 7 black students at the time. Otis Johnson was here. He eventually became the mayor of Savannah. Just saw him the other day. Like I said, Harold Black was here. There was about 7 or 8 here on campus. I 00:12:00think I was number 7 on campus or number 8 on campus at the time. And that's how I ended up at the University of Georgia.
VJ: And do you think they were trying to control the number of students?
KD: I think they still had hoped that we were going to go away.
KD: My classmate, Dr. Furr was here. He is now deceased. He was here. And thatwas all the people that I can recall that were here at that time. So that's how I entered the University of Georgia trying to--you know at that time, they want to tell you that you were a black student coming out of black high school you know that was all that was there, that you could not graduate from this institution. Your high school was so poor there was no way you could graduate from this institution. And told us all that even though the University of Georgia wasn't even ranked anywhere academically at the time. It's gotten much better.
KD: Because the University of Georgia used to be the #1 party school in the00:13:00country. Matter a fact, Playboy had an article on it at one time when I was in school. And they ranked the top 10 party schools in the country and the University of Georgia was not on the list because Playboy said it was beyond fair to compare these other colleges with the University of Georgia because it was so far out front.
Anyway, it was a good school. It was a good education so when I got to Georgiathey told me, my buddy, my friend that I went to high school with, Dr. Furr - same class but had been admitted. I had no idea about thinking about applying. No one ever told me to apply. I just wanted to flirt with the teachers or something. I was a big time football player and this and that even though I was president of my honor society in high school.
VJ: Okay, okay.
KD: So they told me all this. So I got here and one thing Dr. Furr told me. Hesays now, "You need to carry you some 'stare' material to class." And I 00:14:00said, "What's that?" And he says, `It's something for you to read while other teachers, students stare at you before they call the class to order?' [laughter]
KD: He was absolutely right. Now in all fairness of my years at the Universityof Georgia to the students, I will give them overall probably a B rating, a B+ rating. I think when you look back on history, it was the administration that we had more problems with. They were afraid. Because they didn't want to appear to be too liberal and they were scared of their alumni as to what they were going if they let so many black students in so forth and so on. So they were standing their ground just like they stood their ground with the integration of high school.
KD: You know, same thing. It got better by and by. Well, now when I was in00:15:00school we started a Black Student Union. There were no black fraternity, black sororities on campus or anything so we started the Black Student Union to advocate for the rights of black students. We formed this organization and we made demands on the university. Matter of fact, I brought a copy. We made twenty demands we made on the university. We made demands like: we wanted black faculty, we wanted black scholarships. One of the demands that we made that came through - If I had to make it again, I wouldn't make it. And we wanted some black athletes. [laughter] As of today that's all we have are black athletes. But in 1966 when I was a sophomore I decided to go out for the football team. 00:16:00
VJ: Yes, you did.
KD: I went out for the football team and got my life threatened. So forth by the Klan.
VJ: So by the Klan.
KD: By the Klan.
VJ: But no one on the campus--
KD: Said a word.
VJ: Said a word.
KD: Well not directly but when I went out, there was a big national news, mattera fact, international news. I saw the people in the armed services newspaper said they read about it in Europe. BecauseI was the first black person in the whole south, it wasn't just the University of Georgia. When I went out in 1966 there was not one black athlete in the entire south playing. So there I go out there. And Vince Dooley was there. He was in his third year of coaching. It went 00:17:00decently well except for the first couple of days. They were going to pick at me a little bit. When I got in the shower everybody left. [laughter]
KD: So when I was in the shower they wanted to throw a little soap.
KD: So you know, I'm a football player you think that is going to intimidate me?So I just took all the soap and everything else and threw it back over and told them tomorrow I'm bringing my wrench and when I get in the shower I'm going to take a loose a sink and I'm going to throw it over there. [laughter] I mean, I'm a football player and you're going to intimidate me? But athleticsbrings about respect real quick. Once you knock a couple of people on their butt, it brings about respect real quick. So that subsided. And I made some lifelong friends out there. Some of the people out there then was --Let's see who you may know? Let's see Billy Payne. You've ever heard of Billy Payne.
VJ: I've heard of Billy Payne.
KD: He became the -- Helped the Olympics come to Atlanta with Andrew Young. And00:18:00then he became the president of the Masters. Billy Payne was out there. A couple of lawyers around town, one of the lawyer from around town was out there. But he made it clear. Dooley made it clear that he was not going to play me. I am not a big Vince Dooley fan. But I understand now looking at history. He was - may have been under some pressure.
VJ: A little bit.
KD: A little bit. Had a good team that year. As a matter of fact, a guy thatfollowed me a little later, Hurley. I was a senior when Hurley came in the freshman team. He made it clear that he wasn't going to play him either. But I can tell you the whole history about the south in regards to athletes.
But then about this time I was in school. I was in Business School. So thestudents were either interested or disinterested. They didn't bother youor 00:19:00either they were respectful. We used to go down and play pick-up ball at what we called Stegeman Hall then. At that time. Met a couple of white guys. Got to know them and we've known themfor years.
Now what happened when we started making demands on what we wanted. Got toremember this was during the civil rights movement, right in the midst of the civil rights movement. You even had white people here and they were called SDS [Students for a Democratic Society] and all that was here so forth Student Democratic Society and they were marching and sometimes we would march with them about some things and so forth.
Then we had to fight sometimes. One of the biggest fights we ever had was in theBulldog Room. They've changed it now to the Tate Center movie a little bit. And I remember one of the days we had to fight was, we had some black and white restrooms for the help.
VJ: They had black and white what?
KD: Restrooms for the help. So we found out they had black and white restrooms00:20:00for the help. Because remember these people were serving us particularly from Athens, I knew them because I grew up in Athens.
VJ: That's true.
KD: So we decided that we were going to say, 'Here it is. Nobody else comingthrough this line until they take those signs down'. So we stood there for about fifteen or twenty minutes then someone tried to come through the line and a whole fight broke out, in the whole Bulldog room. We fought maybe twenty-five or thirty minutes before the campus cops got there and broke us up. And the next thing you know we were over there meeting with the president. I can't remember-- I think it may have been -- It wasn't Aderhold, it was president then-- I should remember his name. I'm getting old. We used to call him a nickname. We used to call him Horse Doctor [Fred Davison] because he had PhD in veterinary medicine, 00:21:00behind his back [laughter]. We used to meet with him once a month in the president's dining room over at Continuing Ed. I don't know if they still have the President's room over there or not. And we would discuss our demands and so forth.
VJ: And is this BSU? You all were representing as BSU?
KD: Yes. BSU. Black Student Union.
VJ: And how many of you would usually go to discuss?
KD: About six or seven of us.
VJ: Six or seven.
KD: It was that many of us to start with.
VJ: Right. That's what's making me wonder over at the Bulldog Room. You all wereready to fight and there was only how many?
KD: Six or seven.
VJ: Six or seven taking on UGA [inaudible] Right. You all were fighters but youhad to be.
KD: And we had some fights in a couple of other places and one thing we did do -Dixie. Atlanta Dixie. So here is what we did. One of the demands was that they 00:22:00quit playing Dixie at the football games. So we -- our protest was that as long as they played Dixie, we would not stand up for the National Anthem. So we were in the stands - The guy [Colin] Kaepernick out in California?
KD: I don't know. He must have stole that from us.
VJ: I'm telling you. You all were doing it a long time before that, weren't you? Wow.
KD: We would not stand up for the national anthem.
VJ: My goodness.
KD: And I think we had one person in the band or something like that and theywent to Mississippi or something like that, they could not go with the band.
VJ: Wait you're saying that they couldn't go--
KD: To Mississippi or Alabama with the band. If they were in the band they couldnot go, did not go.
KD: But finally they stopped playing Dixie after we protested so much in thestadium about it. And you've heard the story about the sign that was in the 00:23:00stadium. When I was in school they double decked the stadium. The stadium was not double decked when I first got here. Matter a fact, the stadium used to have a 'colored section' as they called it. Amazing about that.
VJ: Was it usually full?
KD: Yeah it was still there when we were students.
KD: Strange history. Here is what's strange about that as you get older. Peoplewould come to the game, sit in that colored section made of wood stands and pull for a school that they could not go attend or their children could not attend. Isn't that a shame? Isn't that amazing? And they were big Bulldog fans.
VJ: Big Bulldog fans.
KD: And I'll tell you something that's about a little known history. So the onlytime in that stadium when they first got integrated except for the student 00:24:00section where we sat was when I went out for the football team that day at G-Day, my mother sat and my [high school] football coach sat -- first time they ever sat in a regular place/seating. They gave them tickets. Yes.
KD: That was the first time but they still had the colored section down on the end.
VJ: But they got tickets to sit in the regular section.
KD: Right. That was the first time that had ever been done.
VJ: But you still didn't play, right? You just --
KD: This was just spring practice.
VJ: This was during spring practice. Okay.
KD: I only stayed during spring practice because he made it clear that he wasnot going to play me. So I wasn't going to be no tackling dummy on the B team and you aren't going to play me and so forth. He didn't say it in so many words but through his actions.
KD: The coach who I liked the most was the defensive coach. And I loved him. Andhe was very friendly and helpful and so I went through all of that. So it 00:25:00finally came time to graduate and I left for a-- I got drafted into the army.
VJ: Before you go into that, I did want to ask when you all refused to stand for --
KD: The national anthem?
VJ: The national anthem. Was that the entire black section that wouldn't standor was it just you all as students.
KD: Just us as students. Just us in the student section. We were in the student section.
VJ: And of course everyone noticed, right? Even though there only 7 or 8 of you?
VJ: And it still disturbed them. Wow.
KD: Because at the same time we were protesting that they quit playing Dixie.
KD: As a matter a fact, Dean Tate was around then.
KD: Okay. And you'll see that one of the demands we made to the school is thatthey quit playing Dixie. So we had done something historical at that time. Justice [Robert] Benham who is on the Supreme Court of Georgia now. He was in 00:26:00law school. We had that we called a "Black House." Yeah we had a house called The Black House. Out there on Lumpkin Street. And that's where we met. And Justice Benham was staying in the Black House.
VJ: What? Wow.
KD: Yes, we had parties out there in the Black House and everything.
VJ: That was especially the Black House? That was only yours?
KD: Yes, only ours. It was a house he was renting from the church out there.
KD: So we just called it the Black House. We met, hung out and had parties andeverything. It was interesting at first. One time we were having a party and some white kid walked in or something with a white girl. The guy got mad and takes his [music] box and went home. So we had to sit around and talk about that. And so we finally said that the white kids could come. They could come to the black house parties. Matter of fact we went around to some of the [white] 00:27:00sorority and fraternity houses' parties. Because sometimes they would have black entertainers.
KD: See at their parties. And also what fraternities and sororities did was,they kept a record of all the tests that the professors had given.
KD: I finally told them I had to get a copy of that test. You know, I'm not--[laughter]. You're not going to come in here-- We are going to be on an equal basis and you've got some kind of record. I'm coming in looking at the files. I want to see what kind of test that the professor gave the last time or whatever. I did that a couple of times.
But what really happened though and in a sense it makes sense, that as moreblacks got on campus more polarization occurred. Particularly when the [black] fraternities and sororities got on campus. More polarization occurred and blacks 00:28:00and whites kind of separated. Yes, at that time you didn't have anyone else so you played ball down at Stegeman Hall with the white kids and this and that and the other. And you would have a cup of coffee or whatever. But as more blacks cme on campus polarization occurred. Sometimes I think maybe these fraternities and sororities were the worst thing that could have ever happened... even though I'm an Alpha. [laughter] I don't know what it is like today. I don't know. But there are still now blacks mingling in the white sorority or fraternities, I don't know. I know that there are some whites that are members of some black organizations on campus. I know that but I don't know if it's the opposite way or not. I don't keep up with the campus as much as I used to. I've gotten older.
So we kinda plucked along there. More blacks started coming. I think when I left00:29:00maybe, it might have been twenty blacks on campus at that time when I graduated. The University of Georgia had the -- As I got older I studied the history. The University of Georgia had the most active black student union in the south.
KD: That probably came from the fact that a lot of the kids came from Athens andwe felt a little more secure in that we also--I came into here out of the Civil Rights Movement. I just finished marching against the Klan. So you aren't going to intimidate me by any means of the imagination. I'm like an already trained soldier. So we had a little different attitude than maybe some of the kids from out of town that never had done that. So we weren't as afraid.
So Otis Johnson, [laughter] my mayor. I think he got suspended one time by00:30:00jumping over the table at Dean Tate about something he said to him.
VJ: He did what?
KD: Got suspended. [laughter]
VJ: By jumping on?
KD: Jumping at Dean Tate.
KD: Or threatened to be suspended.
KD: That's the sixties, see. All of this occurred in the sixties. The CivilRights Movement is when all of this is occurring.
So, the professors were okay. Some were very friendly and tried to help you,particularly those from the north. It wasn't a big grade thing. They wouldn't try to give you an F or something. They didn't do that.
KD: The biggest thing I learned in the end was that when I came over to theUniversity of Georgia and they were telling us that you came from a poor black 00:31:00high school, you can't graduate from there. So the mistake I made, I came over looking for the genius, all these white geniuses I was supposed to meet. And I spent all these years [laughter] and come to find out there were no geniuses. They weren't any more smarter than I was. [laughter]. I did come out--what you had here at that time-- you have to remember you had the cream of the crop black students. You didn't come unless you were academically good.
VJ: It sounds like athletically good too. Just well rounded.
KD: Yeah I was raised as a football player. So everybody was here. So all thekids I went to school with, you know you got Dr. Zell Phillips [Dr. Rogsbert Phillips-Reed] that left here and went to Atlanta and got her medical degree. She is one of the top surgeons in Atlanta now. Dr. Anderson Williams who is retired from Morehouse now as a professor. Harold Black was on the Federal Reserve. Margaret Davis(?) who was a CPA with the IRS. Penny Colepenny(?) became 00:32:00a big author. Mary Blackwell who got a PhD andbecame a doctor at--not a medical doctor but a PhD. She is still teaching at FAMU [Florida A&M University]. She is on the Board of Regents down there. It's amazing how fighting surge turned out, it really was.
VJ: It turned out really well.
KD: Joe Sell got his law degree. Left and went to Miami. Just a long list. Thoseare my people.
VJ: And it sounds like you stayed in contact with each other.
KD: Well I do because I'm here. They all know that I'm here.
KD: So they all call or whatever because they know I'm in Athens. So we stay incontact, yes.
VJ: And all of them are originally from Athens?
KD: No, all of these people are from out of town. Most of them are from out of00:33:00town. They still know that I'm here.
VJ: No, I mean they originally grew up in Athens or are they from out of town?
KD: No, no.
VJ: No, some were from out of town.
KD: No. The majority of the students were eventually were black students fromout of town, eventually. We had a little basic core out that started from Athens and then. But the first people that came in were not from Athens.
KD: Probably maybe one that I have not heard from and unfortunately somefunerals I've been to that went to school with me. So, some of the whites I still remember that I was in undergrad with. Some of them, strangely enough some of the people I was in undergrad with that were white students, boom! I ended up with them in law school.
VJ: Oh wow.
KD: So they were in my law school and I had great dealings with them. And when Igraduated as seniors in my law school class everybody took a year off before they came back to law school and then they were in my law school class. 00:34:00
VJ: Sounds smart.
KD: I've been knowing them ever since I was 19 years of age. So I still see someof them. When I got back to my law school reunion and there they were, still there. And being a lawyer I would see them, the ones that went to law school. I see them periodically. And some of them are still in Athens. Some of them I went to undergrad and law school with and still see them.
VJ: And you went into the military before you went to law school right?
KD: Right, I only stayed in the military for 8 weeks.
VJ: 8 weeks, okay.
KD: That's how I ended up in the math program. They had a rule was that-- I wasgoing to plan to get my master's in business but you had to start in the fall. By the time I got out of the military the fall semester had started so that's how I ended up in the math program for a couple of months. And they gave me a 00:35:00little money so I was just there working on my masters. I'm glad I did. I took a little Calculus and all those things and it benefited me later in life to be able to have that knowledge. And then I decided then that this is not for me so I went to work.
VJ: Wentto work.
KD: Then I found out that I was not happy with being a cost accountant atLockheed. I stayed there a year and decided I'd come back to law school. Because I still had that civil rights thing in the back of my mind.
VJ: Okay, right.
KD: So I said, no, I'll go back to law school and there I was. And I was thefirst black student that had gone undergrad to law school. I was the first Double Dog. Black Double Dog.
KD: And so ended up telling the dean of the Law School that I was coming to theLaw School and he said here's the test. And so I ended up in there the fall of 00:36:001970 going to law school. And Justice [Robert] Benham who was in law school had just graduated. And Justice [Robert] Benham was the first black person to be elected statewide in an office. He was elected to the Court of Appeals. And then he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia. And he used to be the president of BASA. We used to call him Bully Bob because one day he was down there in the Black House. And we had set him up to talk to Dean Tate and Dean Sims, he was the assistant dean then. About some of the things we wanted to do, what we wanted, what we were demanding and if they did not concede to our demands we were going to march and tear up the computer room. And so he came back and said Dean Tate did not agree to demands so we are going to fake like we are going to march and tear up the computer room. And one of my buddies in the 00:37:00back said, you're not going to do it. You're just a bully. So we called him Bully and nicknamed him Bully Bob.
VJ: Bully Bob, okay.
KD: Now, I can tell these stories now because he next month will retire from theSupreme Court of Georgia.
KD: Yes, so he is going to retire from the Supreme Court next month. Matter offact he came in and spoke at a Hunter Holmes lecture last month. Yes, he was the speaker. But we were the team that in my generation was forgotten about. Completely. We were the army so the -- I'm not being critical that the university gave the impression that after Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter that everything was hunky dory, like just love from there on. Oh no. That is notthe way it occurred. We had plenty of fights and things and demands at that time that we fought for. That to make it easier for the students that came after us. 00:38:00That was a -- and we used to go to the Thespian Debate Society? Is it still there? I guess so.
VJ: I think so.
KD: We used to debate over there in the hall that was over there. We used to goto the debate team with the white students about civil rights stuff. And so forth, we did all that.
Well I say this, I think a lot of people say, 'Boy I feel sorry because you wentto the University of Georgia undergrad. Taking all that flack that you had to take.' I would not give anything for my experiences. Thank God for the 00:39:00University of Georgia because I had a unique experience.
KD: We used to have a saying that now, 'If you really want to know if you areblack just come up to a predominantly white college like the University of Georgia and they'll let you know real quick'.
I remember we had one fraternity that had the confederate flag. You know we hada problem with their confederate flag and they used to fly it out in front of their frat house over on Lumpkin street. And we were trying to figure out how we were going to get our hands on that flag. [laughter] And one guy says we going to get a bow and arrow. [laughter] And I said, 'You can't hit the side of a bird with a bow and arrow. What are you some kind of idiot?'
So we went through all that. Now back to my sign. My sign. We had this sign whenGeorgia played Houston. So Georgia had gone down the year before. I can't 00:40:00remember exactly what year it was. It had to be 1965. No, it was later than that. 1967 or something like that. They had gone down to play University of Houston and they had some black players on their team. They had this one all-American Warren McVeigh. Little scout back and they killed Georgia. 35 to 7 or something like that. And so he was supposed to come to Georgia. And this is the first time a black player was going to officially play in a game in Sanford Stadium.
KD: So the stadium had been double decked now. Nationally televised game. So westayed up all night. We made this long sign because we wanted everyone on television to see this sign. This long sign that says 'Houston defeats Georgia with Black Power' because Houston was favored in the game. This long sign. So it was about 3 o'clock when we finished that sign. 00:41:00
VJ: 3 o'clock in the morning?
KD: 3 o'clock in the morning. The game started at 2 so we had a good littlesleep. So we designated a person to bring the sign to the stadium. So he gets to the stadium and he doesn't have the sign. We said, where is the sign? He says, it was rolled up and they still didn't let me bring it in. They didn't know what was on it but they still wouldn't let me bring it in. He was checked through the check-in. So I said go back to the Black House, get the sign and throw it over the fence. So he went back and got the sign. So it wasn't secure or anything like it is now. So we get the sign and we take it out on the second row. And beautiful sign. By that time, they tried to put the sign down and a fight broke out. God takes care of fools and children cause we are on the second deck. It was a wonder no one got thrown over the second deck and got killed. So we held up the television for about twenty minutes out there fighting for this sign and 00:42:00the police finally showed up and someone jerked the sign down and it fell to the bottom.
VJ: And that was that.
KD: So the fighting stopped and the television came on.
VJ: So the TV wasn't on during this fight, at all.
KD: Wasn't on during the fight. That's a shame.
VJ: Mm, hmm, hmm.
KD: So here is what happened, they were running up and down the field and if youknow anything about football terminology, they had gained 500 yards. It was a guy named Paul Gibson fumbled the football 3 times. Big running back fumbled the football three times on the 1-yard line and Georgia ended up tying the game 10 to 10. Something I was thinking about as I was walking off the field I said, that's a shame. If you can't beat them, you might as well just join them.
Someone told me that my sign was in Archives here somewhere. I would love to seethat sign, again. So that's what happened. Finally, the University finally decided to - University of Georgia was one of the last schools to give black 00:43:00athletes football scholarships. The first was Vanderbilt, then Tennessee had a guy play split end and Vanderbilt had a basketball player. Played during the time I was in school, when I was in school the games were not all played in the coliseum. They had Woodrow Hall and it was too small so you had to pull straws to get in. Because all of the students couldn't get into the basketball game.
VJ: You pulled straws to get in the basketball game?
VJ: Like if you had the shortest straw you could get in type thing? Ok.
KD: That's how you got in. Then they built the coliseum. My daddy helped buildthe coliseum. He was a carpenter and a bricklayer and he built the coliseum. So I was in school when he built the coliseum.
KD: And they used to have concerts in the coliseum and black performers used tocome in and Isaac Hayes and Temptations, whatever whatever, Ray Charles. I 00:44:00remember when Ray Charles came in there one night. They still had curfews particularly for women. You had to be back in the dorm at a certain time. So the curfew was- time was running out. So people were getting up to leave and Ray was playing and he wanted to know what this was all about, what was the disturbance all about. And they told Ray the reason and Ray told them, sit down. Tell everybody to sit back down. Ray playing now. They can [laughter] violate the curfew tonight. So that--
VJ: So no one got in trouble
KD: Nobody got in trouble. And so brought a lot of black performersto theUniversity of Georgia, the student council, they brought a lot of black performances to the coliseum. I don't know if they still do or not. I don't 00:45:00think they do, do they?
VJ: I don't at the coliseum, every now and then at the stadium but I don'tremember at the coliseum. Well I don't know if the coliseum could hold bring in those big names like that
KD: They had 10000 seats 20000 seats or whatever they have would probably not bebig enough, and I don't think they do anymore. A lot of black performers came. James Brown and James Brown used to perform at halftime at the football games. He used to sing "I'm Black and I'm Proud" at the football games.
VJ: At the football games.
KD: Yeah, halftime yeah.
VJ: There was only eight students but you did still have the black sectionduring those games or-
KD: The black sections finally when they started redoing the stadium went away.
VJ: During that time
KD: So you could take it like everybody, sit wherever you want.
VJ: Where ever they want to, ok
KD: Once they did the double decker seats, it went away. So that is no longer inplay and the strange thing about it now is go to reflect and I'm a tough guy 00:46:00about Georgia and its population. What officially happened to the University of Georgia is that I was a lawyer when they filed in the University of Georgia affirmative action program. I'm back in town now. I'd been back in town a good while. The University of Georgia had an affirmative action program. It was based on Harvard's model and I didn't get in under the affirmative action program. I got in under tokenism- I can tell the truth about that.
Lee Parks filed that lawsuit, we called the whoop cases. It's not that old, it'smaybe 15 years. People have never heard of it. He went way down into Brunswick, 00:47:00Georgia and he went judge shopping and he filed his case down in Brunswick Georgia. You can sue the University of Georgia from anywhere. So he sued them in federal court down there to get a federal judge.
So the old program was if you had been a graduate of the University of Georgiayour kid would get a point or two for legacy. And white males would get a point, just being a white, just being a male because what they did was they balanced the campus 50-50, males and females.When I used to go to football games and so forth, out there for a while, when I was in school for a while they all wore suits and ties.
VJ: At the football games?
KD: Yeah, so you always figured that you had to understand they had the LucyCobb House- I'm from Athens and it still existed when I was a kid - that 00:48:00predominantly the University of Georgia was male so the females came up to the Lucy Cobb house to- it still exist right now- to date and mingle with the males to have a mate. Yup still there now. It doesn't function as a church in school but it's probably a sorority house now. So they balanced it 50/50.
Now when Lee Parks out of Atlanta filed that case, it's strange. Who was hetrying to hurt, here, see? And I'll tell you something about that when he filed that case they had quite a few black students at the University of Georgia then. So we did, we took all the black SAT scores and the white SAT scores and we stacked them. His plaintiffs were saying that they were not getting admitted because the black students were taking their place. Their test scores were always lower than the lowest black SAT score. So it was three cases and we 00:49:00kicked them out every time because they didn't have any standing. Until one day he filed the third case, in the middle of that litigation Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court wrote a decision called 'The Sage' and it said if it looked like it appeared to be discriminatory they would have a standing to go forward. That is how the University of Georgia -Harvard plan ended.
So when they did that they brought about problems because they could not have anAffirmative Action program for a while, even though I think the universe sort of- you know, you could always craft a program not just based on test scores and grades. The University of Georgia was like the BIG 10, they used to say they had a formula. Test scores and grades you got in, test scores and grades you got in and they would take the last admittees and you could say I read the essay and I 00:50:00like them, I think they still should get in.
So that's still pretty much the case today to some extent but to get into theUniversity of Georgia. So that happened and as a result the number of black students went down. I don't know if it was the perception but I haven't had a chance to study- did the number of applicants go down? Did the number of black students just went down? I don't know. I think as a result the number of applicants went down because everybody had this perception that they could not get in. So at first when the applicants went down, the number of black students went down. So that is still the problem today.
VJ: And you were saying there was a point towards you if you were a male. A maleperiod? Or a-
KD: Yup, a male period, white males got the preference. That was before you evenstarted coming. Before you even started they had preference to get in to keep 00:51:00the student body balanced. So who did he hurt? So if you look at the University now, it's not balanced anymore. They've got more white female students than they've got male. Probably almost 70% female. He hurt- I don't know that he hurt white females, I don't know as far as socially? Interesting question. That's an interesting question. It's not balanced. Not everybody has a date. Interesting question.
VJ: That is true.
KD: Sometimes what you intend to do does not turn out the way you intended to doit. Intended to happen. And it also hurt black males because I know that they're not many black males at the University because of those cases, so far. But those are interesting phenomena as that goes on. 00:52:00
And then we have this Hope thing. Do you know about the Hope? They took the capoff Hope
VJ: Yes, they took the cap off Hope.
KD: And when they took the cap off Hope, all the students from north of Atlanta,the wealthy part of Georgia, came to Georgia. 80% of the students at the University of Georgia are from north of Atlanta. And now every student over here is on HOPE [Scholarship]. So as a result, north Atlanta has some of the besthigh schools in the country. So the SAT score went up and so it brought about problems. How they are going to resolve that I don't know. But that's a problem that we have today.
But- so back in my days at law school- so I came back to law school and some ofthe people I knew so I didn't have fear because, what they used to do in bringing students in particular to graduate school. Guess what they used to do? 00:53:00They didn't look down at the undergrad kids (within UGA), they would go to Morehouse, Spellman, and try to get their best students to come. If you look at the- if you would go and look at the early graduate student/professional schools. All those kids came from those schools. They didn't come from- they act like we did not exist. For a while they act like- if you wanted to get a kid to go to say vet school here, or go to law school you think would look down at your student body first. No they didn't. They- of course there wasn't that many blacks at that school at that time. But all those kids came from Tuskegee and whatever and whatever. They didn't invite the black kids from [UGA] undergrad into those schools. It's interesting. They would try to get the top black 00:54:00students at Spellman or Morehouse to come to Georgia. So the kids I was in Law School with was from Morehouse, Spellman and whatever.
VJ: Could you tell any differences with the education or any of the culture or anything?
KD: No, the difference in the culture was that -- you know, they had been toblack high schools and black colleges. So they come in a little more timid than I did because they had never been into a predominantly white institution. So they came in a little more timid than I did. You know I was already used to that, see. So when you talk to me you're talking to a different person.
VJ: Right, right. So glad to be talking to you too.00:55:00
KD: So I was a little bit different. I was a little more pushy. So in law schoolwe started what we called BASA - Black American-- and I started that.
VJ: And what's it called?
KD: BASA. Black American Student Association.
KD: They still have it now.
VJ: So you started the BSU and then you started one in law school as well.
KD: Yes. But these were all national organizations, now.
KD: Every law school has one. So I started one here.
KD: So that is how all of that occurred. And so now my only concern about theUniversity now is the number of black kids at the University. I remember once when I was in law school, I went to Chicago and we were having a convention up there in Boston and I met a girl from the University of Oklahoma, whatever. Met 00:56:00the football team, a bunch of black players. And I said I know you guys got it made in University of Oklahoma all those black students you've got. Man y'all must really got it made. And she said Ken the only thing at the University of Oklahoma black are black football players and that we have the same problem. The only thing is the University of Georgia football players.
It is amazing to me as alumnus, on Saturday morning we all gather everybody fromthe city of Athens, all black across the state and pull for the University of Georgia, pull for a school that that kid cannot get in. So we have come full circle from the time we had the colored section. Same identicalthing. If you don't know your history you'll repeat itself. 00:57:00
So those things would have to be addressed about the number of black studentshere. That's my biggest concern with the University of Georgia now. And the Law School also. It's dropped some. My son graduated from the University of Georgia Law school. And when he was over there we had 100 black students I think now we just have 50.
VJ: Oh, wow.
KD: So those are things I'm concerned with as I get older. Now at the same timeI have no idea of the number of black applications they get because I don't work here so I don't know. But the University of Georgia has an interesting history as to what the past was. It wasn't like -- I never met Frances Early. Did not know she existed until I was 45 years od. 00:58:00
VJ: Oh really?
KD: Yes, never heard of her.
VJ: Of course she was in grad school, right?
KD: She transferred in for six months from my understanding. Didn't even knowshe was here. So the only people I know was that crew I was with that was in the middle of the civil rights movement that was determined that they were going to make their mark in regards to changing things at the University. Has it changed? I don't know. I mean you've got different kids now - both black and white kids on campus so those are interesting questions. History will determine. And that is about all I can say. [laughter]
VJ: Well tell me a little bit about some of your early education in gradeschool. Did that make a difference as far as your fighting spirit because that's bold? Because it's like: well I can't down here in Savannah so I'm just going to 00:59:00go to UGA. I'm just going to see if I can get in. Why not give it a shot in the midst of all of this civil unrest going on.
KD: Well I didn't think I would have a problem getting in because the people infront of me I had gone to high school with, I had done just as well as they had grade-wise and SAT scores so I didn't see the problem.
VJ: So are you talking about the white students.
KD: No, the black students, Mary Blackwell and Dr. Fir.
VJ: Of the ones already at UGA.
KD: There was already three at UGA when I applied. So I didn't think it wasgoing to be a problem. Here I am, President of the Honor Society, captain of the football team --
KD: You know, I didn't think it would be any problem. Well the thing thatsurprised me, I thought that I got a little brainwashed saying that you can't go to school with these students. My junior year I'm out their teaching foreign 01:00:00students about base 2, the binary system. The computer ran off the binary system. They had this big computer lab with the cards but it ran off what you called the base 2 system. You've got all kinds of base. You have base 2, base 10, whatever base. We used base 10 system. The computer system used the base 2, you know 1+1 is 2, 1 was 11. We don't use it anymore but that was the computer operating. And people came in from Norway. I think I had a girl from Norway and three or four of them that I had to teach the base 2 system to.
VJ: You were teaching them as a part of your education program? Or were you just--
KD: Just friends. Same math class trying to get and understanding.
VJ: So this is all a part of your Math class that you were --
KD: Yes, computer math class, yes. So I still haven't found this genius. Andthen it dawned on me in the end, that there was no genius but it took years for it to dawn on me in that. Then I got a little pet historian and during that time 01:01:00black high schools were outperforming white high schools, academically.
KD: They were in my time. And it took it a long time for them to admit thetruth. But the studies were done and yes. I was -- I know what a data modifier is. I had the math class of trigonometry in high school. I had all that stuff and some kids I used to go to class and it was in math class and some kids came from a good high school. And they would say in calculus --those students would say to the professor-- they would do it like this. And I would say, whoa we aren't going to do any Calculus because I haven't had any Calculus so you can 01:02:00forget that. You know my school didn't teach Calculus. They taught pretty much and all the students who came through here, you know. They didn't have any academic problems. All my crowd, they graduated. They graduated. Like I said, they were good high school students. You didn't come unless you were a good high school student.
VJ: Yes, you had to be.
KD: Yes, you didn't come. And it was all really smart kids. And they may havegotten a little civil rights blood in them and they got rowdy sometimes[laughter].
VJ: Well at least academically everybody was sound so you didn't have to worryabout that as much as so you go after your civil --
KD: Yes, everybody was academically sound. I can't even remember, ever recallany black kids I was in school with ever flunking a course. I don't think that happened. I don't even recall that or anybody ever saying that teacher didn't 01:03:00give me a fair grade in a sense.
So one day I was looking for the genius. And I was in a cost accounting class.At that time everybody went to business school you had to take cost accounting. You don't have to do that now unless you are an accounting major.
VJ: Ok. cost--
KD: Cost accounting. That's the accounting, say, if you made an automobile, itwas going through the assembly line you've got to figure out how much the automobile costs.
KD: So you have to allocate the things to put on the car, the lights that itcosts, the electricity, the salary of the people, that determines what the cost of the car is. And it's tough. Cost accounting is tough. Lot of business students regret taking cost accounting. So I was in class one day and came in on a cost accounting test and I made a 96 and another guy made a 100. Everybody 01:04:00else flunked. Boom! Everybody flunked that test. They made 50's, 60's. The professor comes in and she says Mr. Johnson and Mr. Dious stand up. She said, you guys had my test didn't you?
I didn't have the test. And so she started asking questions and he could notanswer them. And then he finally admitted that he had the test. Now, I'm angry because how he gets the test and I couldn't get it?! [laughter]
KD: So I got to keep it, you know, competitive. [laughter]
VJ: Well it sounds like that even though you didn't have the tests you stillwould have been able to answer her questions though. 01:05:00
KD: I figured it out, I figured it out.
KD: So I'm looking for the genius and I'm just wasting my time. I didn't havethe test. [laughter] Cause normally when you came out of a cost accounting test you got a C. Nobody got an A. You know she did give me a B and I was the only B in the class.
VJ: But did you really earn a B or did you really earn an A.
KD: Ahh, I don't know. Well I think they just had a philosophy that they weren'tgoing to give anybody and A.
KD: So I lived with it.
VJ: So that is how you ended up over there with Lockheed didn't you. Thosegrades that you had.
KD: Yes, I had good undergrad grades. So that is how I ended up in Lockheed andthen I decided I didn't want to be -- you know I majored in finance. My undergrad major was finance. I didn't want to be an accountant. I didn't want to hit a machine everyday adding up numbers.
When I was at Savannah State the difference in the schools were when I was atSavannah State they had calculators, one calculator. We had to get in line to 01:06:00use it. When I came to Georgia business school, they had so many in the basement the guys used to go down there and play with them in general. The difference in facilities.
VJ: So you had to wait in line to use a calculator in Savannah State but atGeorgia, what did you say?
KD: It was just plentiful.
VJ: It was plentiful.
KD: Yes, difference.
KD: So that's my experience as I can recall at the University of Georgia. I hada ball. Of course I didn't want to say-- You just not going to let me come in and you going to depress me. You just going to make it miserable and it's going to be a miserable times of my youth. That just wasn't going to happen. But instead it turned out to be a unique experience. I wouldn't take anything for 01:07:00it. Yes, I wouldn't take anything for it. Really wouldn't. You know, it helped when I came back to Athens. I was the first black attorney in Athens.
KD: So, I had gotten used to going through all that. I'm well trained. TheUniversity of Georgia well trained me for all that. So that did not bother me.
VJ: And when you were younger because you were exposed to this in high school,so how did your parents feel about your exposure? Did they know what you were doing or?
KD: At Georgia.
VJ: Yes, well you were ready to fight for --
KD: You know they didn't ever-- as long as the grades were there I buried one ofthe-- I wouldn't say I buried bu I spoke at his funeral [inaudible] Lassiter, good friend of mine in high school but he came back here. He was one years or two years in front of me but he came back here to work on his masters and he died. He's from Athens so I spoke at his funeral and I was telling some of the 01:08:00things we did together and his mother said, I didn't know all that. I didn't know all of that was going on. [laughter]
I don't think my mother knew--
VJ: Knew everything you were doing.
KD: One thing my mother told me when I came to the University of Georgia - Ireally didn't want to go but I had to go - she says, I'll tell you what? They are teaching it. They can't avoid you from learning it. You're in the same class. You just learn it. You just learn it. And that is what I had to do.
I never had a black professor. I never went to class with a black student exceptone quarter. Dr. Furr was in the business school for a moment. He decided to go to south campus. He finally got a PHD in botany. He decided he didn't want to be 01:09:00a business major. And I said Marion, you know, they teaching over there that calculus and that science stuff, you sure you want to go back over there? [laughter]
He said yeah, he threw up his hand and the next thing you know he has a PhD in botany.
KD: So he didn't have any problems. He was my high school classmate.
KD: I told that at his funeral. He just--boom--just didn't bother him. Thatchemistry and stuff didn't faze him at all.
VJ: He just went through.
KD: He just went through it, yeah.
VJ: The majority of time there were no other black classmates.
KD: After that time there were no other black classmates. That was just onequarter. And we were taking general accounting because we were on the quarter system at that time. After that he decided and he left. So that's the only time I had a black student. I used to be in classes with -- You know there was a history class or and such or whatever and I always had to defend the black point 01:10:00of view. That was quite common. Yes, you had to say what you had to say.
VJ: You spoke up.
KD: I spoke up! As to what was what. I just wasn't quiet at all.
VJ: And how did the majority of the classes receive your outspokenness. Did theylearn from? Did you feel like you were teaching?
KD: Yes. To the students, if I had to give them a grade, I would give them a B,a B+, a B.
VJ: So they heard you?
KD: They never tried to call me any names or anything like that. If you did wewere going to fight. Like I said I was a football player. I wasn't going to get in any corner and cry. We were going to go at it. None of that, at least, 01:11:00happened to my face. It finally got the point where we would go down to Stegeman and play some pickup basketball. I was in the shower, no big deal. That was no big deal. Sometimes as of matter of fact we would play the University of Georgia basketball team down in Stegeman hall.
VJ: Did you?
KD: Yes, they would come over and sometimes we would beat the University ofGeorgia basketball team. Now the thing that you regretted the most was that you were better than some of those players. I remember Herby White got a trial for the Hawks. He used to play for the University of Georgia but because we didn't have that opportunity we didn't get to try out for the Hawks and so forth. So that was heartbreaking right there in that sense.
VJ: And you never did try to go out for the basketball team.01:12:00
KD: No. No. Matter of fact, the way I ended up playing again was a friend ofmine that was in school named Carter. He said he wanted to go out for the football team but he didn't want to go out by himself. So come spring practice he wasn't in school.
KD: So we had already told Dooley that we were going out for the football teamand my father said if you tell a man something then you have to go forward. Can't back out. So the first day I went out for that football team, everybody was out there. And the minute I hit the field it just [clap] stopped. And so they put this big guy in front of me. During that time in football they used the term 'running the gap.' They don't do 'running the gap' anymore. They don't let us play gap ball anymore. And they put this big white guy and everybody just stopped. They were going to see what was going to happen. And so I just had to knock him to the other side of the field and that is what I did.
KD: Because at that time- you have to remember in the south they didn't realizethat black players had caught up in regards to - you know football games is a 01:13:00game of fun. You have to start early. Just like anything, like playing the piano. If you are going to be a good football player, you start at five years old. And they didn't realize that we had to play that well because we had a particular line or something. But I had been taught all that - the right stance and everything when I was a kid and then when I was in high school. So nothing different in that regard.
It was strange if you ever think about the south. They always thought that inthe south that we could not play basketball. The first major basketball player that went north was a guy named Walter Frasier. He was older than I was. Played for Southern Illinois. First black guy out of the south that got a scholarship to go to another school to play basketball. He played for Howard High. That was big news. And then later he played for the New York Knicks and won three or four 01:14:00championships as point guard.
KD: So we were not known to be basketball players. We were not known to befootball players because you gotta remember that before my generation my daddy when I grew up and started out baseball was king.
KD: My daddy never understood the game of football.
KD: All that was evolved very, very fast.
VJ: Did you play baseball?
KD: Played baseball.
VJ: You played all of them, didn't you?
KD: Played all of them.
VJ: But your favorite was?
KD: I don't know. Actually my favorite was football but I got hurt at it. Duringthat time things were evolving in the south. We had a little Y [YMCA]. Matter of fact I was on the swim team.
KD: All of this stuff was evolving so fast. So when I was a kid we would go toAtlanta and play the little Y's out of Atlanta. That's where I first met Walt Frasier. We played against each through Y through high school. Yes, so that's 01:15:00how that evolved. It evolved that fast. It was evolving so fast that with those type of things.
So when I came here, I was sort of the protected generation in the sense that Iwas still in segregation. I still 'back of the bus' thing was there when I was 7th and 8th grade. Eighth grade Istarted marching. But my mother would not let me go over and socialize and work with whites. I didn't know anything about the white community. So I never got embedded to saying 'yes, sir', 'no, sir'. I didn't know anything about that. I didn't think about that at all. So I never got embedded into that. Idea being, she would sometimes work, babysit or something, and I think I had one shirt she brought me from a white guy, a hand 01:16:00me down shirt. When I got out of law school I ended up suing him. Not about the shirt but something else.
KD: And he asked me how my mother was doing.
KD: And Walter Danner who is the registrar here, he was a surveyor. So when Ibecame a lawyer, we had two surveyors here. He was the cheapest so I would call him to do surveys for me. He would come by the office and I'd give hima survey and I would pay him. And he would remember me from that time.
VJ: So even though you were kept apart from the white community during thattime, but you didn't develop a fear for -- I guess you weren't hearing or exposed to the negative? 01:17:00
KD: Oh, I was exposed to the negative. You know I saw the Klan and all that.
VJ: Right. But you had no fear of them when you clashed?
KD: I don't think it was coming from fear. I think it was coming from cultural.If you are raised that way to think that whites are superior because you said 'no, sir,', yes, sir'.
KD: Some folks were saying yes, sir, no, sir to the [white] kids I wasn'traised that way. My parents wouldn't, my mother just protected me from that. So it never got-- that kind of culture never got embedded in me like that. So as a matter of fact I have any kind of association with the white community at all until I came to the University of Georgia. It was the first time. And when you walked on campus it would just affect you, just take your breath away because you walk from Broad street into a completely white world. Boom. And everything you can see all white. The only time that you would see a black person would be a janitor. As a matter of fact, I knew some of the janitors because I am from Athens. And that was the only time you would see-- as a matter of fact I would 01:18:00see one of the places, I can't remember what dorm - not dorm but classroom, somebody had knocked something over. And a little white girl tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I would get it up because she assumed I was a janitor. Tapped the wrong person. I just went off.
VJ: And I'm sure you didn't whisper your response.
KD: No, I did not. [laughter] Tapped the wrong person. Let me tell you something.
VJ: Oh wow.
KD: Yep, that happened. That really did. So those are my experiences yes.
VJ: And I imagine that there were quite a few whites on campus who were notexposed to -
KD: They had not been exposed to blacks in regards to sitting beside them inclass. They had been exposed to them-- remember when I was kid they had married housing. Some of the students, you got married earlier then and the students had 01:19:00black maids.
VJ: Oh, okay. I didn't think about that.
KD: Yes, so they were not exposed. You've got to remember the south pushed hardagainst desegregation. Even with the football players and everything. See I remember all this stuff -- I gotta tell you a little story. It's a true story. And you can look it up and fact check it.
KD: I remember when I was a kid and George Wallace ran for governor of Alabama.Actually George Wallace had decided, him and the governor in front of him, that they were going to try to get together and solve some problems that blacks were having in Alabama. So he ran on the Liberty ticket. And he lost. But they had a guy named Flowers [civil rights activist] that ran as his Lt Governor and he won. So when George came back the next time with all this segregation stuff, 01:20:00words he used and everything and he won. So they didn't like Flowers. They thought Flowers was too liberal as Lt. Governor so they framed him and put him in jail, in prison. And what happened was Flowers had a kid named Richmond Flowers, white guy, played football. Good football player. He was a high school all-American in Alabama. Flowers was fast. He used to go down to the black colleges and beat the black kids in the 100. He was a good ball player. So when he came to leave high school in Alabama he said he could not play for Alabama because they had put his daddy in jail. So he decided to play at the University of Tennessee. So this big game up one day between-- he was an All-American at Tennessee, running back. Between Alabama and Tennessee. And Alabama was down there just before the game someone had sent Richmond Flowers a hate letter. And 01:21:00Bear Bryant was upset and he wanted to know who in the so-in-so sent that letter to Richmond Flowers. And finally one of the big tacklers put up their hand. And he said, 'Boy, let me tell you something, you should have sent that letter to Richmond Flowers' daddy and not to him.' He said, 'Don't you let Richmond Flowers beat me out there today.'
And I'll tell you something else that's going to shock you. He says if I haveany black/white players on my team ten years from now, it means I've had a bad recruiting year. They made a movie about that. Richmond Flowers story. Richmond Flowers went on and played 2 years with [inaudible] who lives in Florida now. They made a movie about it called the Richmond Flowers story.
KD: So after that Bear had the power because he was supposed to have been the --Bear Bryant, the number one coach in the world. And so when he started recruiting blacks then everybody else came in. Everybody else started.
VJ: All the other teams started.
KD: Yes. I mean he wasn't the very first but that was the word because hecouldn't win anymore outside of the south. So he had to start recruiting black football players. Because for a while, University of Mississippi could not play against any black players. Matter of fact they had a good basketball team so in order to play in the NCAA tournament, they had to sneak off the campus without the consent of the governor or the president.
VJ: Oh really.
KD: They made a movie about that. Where you guys been? There's a movie aboutthat too. As a matter of fact, they had a reunion about that not too long ago 01:23:00about the guys that played in that game. Yep, all that happened.
And you've heard the story about Sam the Bam Cunningham. You probably don't knowwho that is. This had a lot to do with integration. He played for the University of USC. Southern California. So he came down to Alabama, played down there in Tuscaloosa and just killed Bear and that's when Bear got real upset and he started recruiting more black players. The name of the story they all him Sam Bam Cunningham. That's the story. That's how all this stuff occurred. So everybody else started recruiting black players. So now we've got more football players over here that we have students. And that's a problem. A real problem. A big 20 million dollars, 40-million-dollar athletic budget. So that's a problem. 01:24:00Didn't anybody ever taught you all this stuff?
VJ: Well, you know I have a general idea. I know that sports really did pull usinto the schools and everything but not the details. I didn't keep up with sports really big. And even as a student here I only went to one UGA game. That's enough. I like to watch them on TV. And half the time I didn't know how football was played. We were actually swimmers growing up. So that was our--
KD: Where are you from?
VJ: Warner Robins. We grew up swimming. My brothers barely played football.
KD: Makes more sense. This ole leg hop around on [inaudible].
VJ: Oh yes.01:25:00
I want to say thank you for coming in for us today and having this greatconversation with me. I appreciate all the information you shared today.