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Interview with Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Mary Diallo, Kerry Rushin Miller, and Harold Black, January 12, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:01:32 - Choosing UGA / Highs and lows

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Partial Transcript: But, I'd like to start, actually, with what was it that made you want to come to the University of Georgia?

Segment Synopsis: Miller, Diallo, and Black talk about choosing the University of Georgia due to its relatively low cost and the opportunity to challenge segregation. Diallo recalls a white student shooting blanks at her while she was playing the piano, and she says that she had to change her major from music to French after that incident. Hunter-Gault and Miller talk about living in the dorms. Miller mentions some of the academic highs and lows she experienced during college.

Keywords: Center Myers Hall; discrimination; segregation

00:18:16 - Harold Black's dorm experience

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Partial Transcript: Harold, you had a- you were different in the sense that you had a mind of your own when you came here.

Segment Synopsis: Black recalls living in a UGA dorm, where white students harassed and endangered him by breaking his windows, writing racial slurs on his door and in his bathroom, and attempting to set his room on fire. Black also discusses his relationship with his parents, making friends at college, and standing up for himself.

Keywords: Reed Hall; campus life; discrimination; threats

00:26:33 - Making friends on campus

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Partial Transcript: Now Mary, you stayed at home, right?

Segment Synopsis: Diallo, Miller, and Black talk about some of their friends from UGA, including Alice Henderson, who lived with Kerry before leaving the university, and Lynn Fagan, who alerted the girls about President Kennedy's assassination. The three interviewees also discuss their involvement at the campus Presbyterian center, Westminster House. There, Kerry says she met a white naval officer who took her on dates including a motorcycle ride and a dinner party.

Keywords: Center Myers; Creswell Hall; Presbyterian Student Center; campus ministries

00:34:39 - Opposition from UGA Registrar, Walter Danner

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Partial Transcript: Um, Harold, you also did some things that people sort of looked funny at, like going to the all white Presbyterian church.

Segment Synopsis: Black talks about UGA registrar Walter Danner, who tried to intimidate Black throughout his registration process and threatened to expel Black's white, female friends once he became a student. Black recalls confronting Danner at his church, which later split due to controversy over segregation. In addition, Black discusses his attitude toward academics at UGA.

Keywords: Walter Danner; administration; discrimination; institutional; racism; registrar

00:43:48 - Discrimination in campus organizations

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Partial Transcript: I had one incident walking on campus, it's snowing and I had my umbrella up.

Segment Synopsis: Diallo and Miller remember brief interactions in which other students treated them poorly because of their race. Black talks about discrimination within the compulsory ROTC program, wherein he was unable to advance in rank despite his notable performance, and the Dixie Red Coat Marching Band, which would not allow Black or Diallo to join or travel with the other students. The interviewees also talk about their relationships with Hamilton Holmes.

Keywords: Killian's; ROTC; Red Coats; band; music; rankings; scholarships

00:53:02 - Miller desegregates dorm / Black desegregates pool

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Partial Transcript: But what I did experience was what you experienced first, and that was being in a desegregated dorm.

Segment Synopsis: Miller and Diallo remember some of the spats they had while living together. Miller talks about living in her own dorm room after Diallo moved back home. Miller says that white students' protests against her superior living arrangements ultimately resulted in the integration of UGA's dorms. Black talks about how Dean Tate granted him access to a UGA pool, and the interviewees mention apologies they have received from those who once opposed integration.

Keywords: Creswell Hall; Dean Tate; apologies; desegregation; dorms; integration

01:00:26 - Support systems

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Partial Transcript: You've alluded to support systems- in a real sense, you were your own support systems when you weren't fighting about the heat.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewees recognize the people who helped get them through college, including their families, their friends' families, their churches, scholarship organizations, the Westminster House, and several prominent integrationists.

Keywords: Don Hollowell; Killians; financial aid; scholarships

01:09:56 - Lifelong impacts of UGA

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Partial Transcript: Tell me what you think University of Georgia did for you in those years- good, bad, indifferent- and how it affected where you went in life and where, in fact, you went.

Segment Synopsis: Black talks about the reputation of UGA and about the faculty members whose support led him to pursue a PhD in economics and to later become a professor of economics and finance. Miller recalls the validation she received from UGA professors, and she talks about the career and community leadership positions her education afforded her. Diallo mentions getting kicked out of her masters program at UGA before attaining the degree and later becoming a professor.

Keywords: UGA; careers; education; legacy; opportunities; professors