Pages That Need Transcription
[handwritten: N.C. Education Assoc. March 15, 1940]
[handwritten margin: + all addresses]
'THE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM PROVIDING GRADUATE WORK FOR NEGROES IN NORTH CAROLINA."
Discussion in a modest way about graduate and professional training for Negroes began in North Carolina a little more than a decade ago. The first actual effort on the part of the State to do something definite about it occurred in 1933. In that year, while the Legislature was in session, some representatives from the State Department of Education, faculty members of the University or North Carolina, and others met in the office of the Attorney General of the State to discuss some definite action. It was agreed that a bill should be prepared by the Attorney General, which if enacted into law, would provide fellowships for graduate and professional study by Negroes in institutions outside of the State. The bill was prepared and introduced in the House where it was passed without much opposition. The Senate refused to approve it. One senator is quoted as having said the Supreme Court would have to compel him before
he would vote for such a measure.
In the same year, 1933, an effort was made by Thomas R. Hocutt, a Negro, to enter the School of Pharmacy in the University of North Carolina. This case went to court and Hocutt was refused admission on a "technicality that he had not complied with all the regulations for admission."
(For other similar cases see Harvard Educational Review, January 1940, page 86.)
No action was attempted in the General Assembly of 1935.
The question was brought forward again when the Legislature met in 1937. By that time several other Southern States had provided such advanced training for their Negro citizens on the out-of-State scholarship plan. (See Report of Legislative Commission, pages 60-61). With the approval of the Governor a bill was prepared and upon his suggestion it was introduced in the Senate by the Chairman of the Committee on Education and was referred of course by the presiding officer to that committee. At the first hearing of the Committee on Education on this
bill it was promptly killed, after what was described as a very bitter speech by a member of the committee.
When the General Assembly of 1939 convened it had before it a very clear and very imperative mandate from the United States Supreme Court, as well as a positive and comprehensive recommendation from Governor Hoey and the 1937 Legislative Commission that the Assembly provide graduate and professional training on a much broader basis than had been thought of in 1933 and 1937.
In December 1938, after considerable discussion, legal and otherwise, in the State of Missouri, the Supreme Court of the United States directed the University of Missouri to admit Lloyd C. Gaines, a Negro, to its law school, or that the State should provide for him and other Negroes who might desire to study law opportunity for such study equal in quality with those offered at the University, and "within the borders of the State."
A few weeks after the Supreme Court's decision the state authorities of Missouri appealed to the Court for a rehearing of the case. In January 1939 the Court refused and reaffirmed its decision of December 1938.
While these matters were transpiring in Missouri and Washington, North Carolina was preparing to try again to get the Legislature to provide graduate and professional training for its Negro citizens. The Legislature of 1937 authorized the Governor to appoint a Commission composed of two senators and three members of the House who would study the public schools and colleges for Negroes in North Carolina and prepare a Report and Recommendations to be presented to the Governor and the General Assembly of 1939.
The original draft of the Commission Report which was presented to the Governor in November 1938, included two flat recommendations for providing graduate and professional study for Negroes as follows:
1. That provision be made for such graduate courses in liberal arts and professions leading to the Masters degree in the North Carolina colleges for Negroes in Durham, and in agriculture and technology
leading to the Masters degree in the Agricultural and Techical College in Greensboro.
2. That the Legislature provide a definite sum of approximately $25,000 annually for scholarships for graduate and professional study in institutions outside the State in such graduate fields as would not be included in the programs of the two state Negro colleges named above, and which at the same time are included in the program of the University of North Carolina.
As soon as the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States was made public in December, 1938, the member of the Legislative Commission realized at once that their second recommendation as then stated was not in keeping with the decision.
With the approval of the Governor, the Commission met in Raleigh about the middle of December 1938 to revise their recommendations in the light of the Court's ruling in the Lloyd C. Gaines case in Missouri. Invited to attend this meeting were a vice-president, deans and other high ranking officers of the University of North Carolina and Duke University. After rather