Item Details

Interview With Stephen Wright

Elwood, William A; Norton, James A.
Online; Online Video; Video
2006; 1987-10-28
Part one. Dr. Stephen Wright, former president of Fisk University and prominent educator, is presented by James "Dolph" Norton for the Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. Dr. Wright delivers remarks concerning historically African American colleges and universities. He covers the emergence and growth of these schools. Part two. Dr. Wright says that the development of African American colleges in America has been influenced by seven events: publication of two Department of the Interior studies, "Negro Education" by Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones in 1917 and "Survey of Negro Colleges and Universities" by Arthur Klein in 1928; accrediting African American institutions in the South in 1930, which enabled African American collegians to enter graduate school programs; the US Supreme Court's Gaines decision of 1938; the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the Adams v. Richardson case filed in 1970. Part three. Dr. Wright talks about public policy, student enrollment trends, and educational needs. He relates stories of African American educators' struggles for equal salaries in the 1930s in the South. The African American teachers made 50% of what white teachers did, with the same teaching certificate. Part four. Dr. Wright explains the effects of desegregation, especially concerning its impact on the fulfillment of the educational needs of African American students at traditionally African American schools. He addresses the special case of Berea College, which was integrated before Plessy v. Ferguson, and therefore had to be segregated after that court decision. It was reintegrated immediately after the Brown v. Board of Education decision. He talks about the influence of Myles Horton. Dr. Wright also discusses student financial aid programs and Rosenwald schools. Part five. Dr. Wright describes being an expert witness in desegregation cases in the South, especially Bulah v. Gebhart in Delaware, one of the cases combined to become Brown v. Board of Education. He evaluated the schools involved in the case and documented their differences. He also assisted NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyers during cross examinations, as in the Durham, N.C., city schools case. At 12:45, footage of different camera angles of Dr. Wright with no sound. At 15:33, interview resumes with discussion of higher education. Part six. Dr. Wright advocates for strong general education curricula, especially at the college level. He also describes the functions of boards of education, student assessments, and testing.
Elwood, William A
Norton, James A.
Wright, Stephen
Digitized by: Cincinnati, Ohio : The PPS Group, 2006.
Source footage for the documentary, The road to Brown : the untold story of “the man who killed Jim Crow” (California Newsreel, 1990), about the life of Charles Hamilton Houston, his crusade for civil rights, and the events that led to Brown v. the Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared the doctrine of separate but equal to be illegal.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Recorded at Charlottesville, Virginia.
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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Road to Brown : the untold story of "the man who killed Jim Crow."
William A. Elwood Civil Rights Lawyers Project
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