her classmate Hamilton
Holmes graduated at the
top of their class from Atlanta’s
Turner High School. She was editor of The
Green Light, the school newspaper, a member of the student
council, and homecoming queen. Hunter was accepted
to and enrolled in Wayne
State University in Detroit, Michigan.
While attending Wayne State she continuously applied to UGA each
quarter with hopes of being admitted to its prestigious Grady
College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Lawyers for the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) supported
her campaign to enter the University and pressed for her admission.
Finally, on January 6, 1961, a federal court ruled that The
University of Georgia had to admit Holmes and
Hunter because both were fully qualified to attend and thus
entitled to enroll.
Hunter established a successful career as a journalist, news
anchor, and reporter. She moved to South
Africa in 1997, along with
her husband, Ronald Gault, to serve as a correspondent for National
Public Radio and as Johannesburg, South Africa’s bureau chief
CNN. She has helped
raise HIV/AIDS awareness and funds to provide affordable anti-retroviral
drugs. She also has collaborated with the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a court-like body
assembled at the end of apartheid to
bear witness to and record crimes relating to human rights. Using
her experiences in the Civil
Rights Movement of the United States, Hunter-Gault has continued
working for human rights and peace for every race.
As a result of the
integration of the University in 1961, enrollment
of African Americans has grown from two out of 8,647 students in
1961 to 2,228 out of 32,812 in 2006. Hunter-Gault's commitment
to serving humanity demonstrates how the fight against oppression
is global. Scholars in various disciplines have studied what
they call the African diaspora,
which is the community of people of African descent worldwide who
have been displaced by slavery and who, in spite of linguistic and
historical differences, may bridge those distinctions in order to
come together over shared economic, political, and cultural interests
of mutual benefit. Hunter-Gault's outlook on public service, and
especially her concern with relations between Africans and African
Americans, reflects an African diasporic sensibility.
Resources (click here)
Printable Version (click here)
1. What may have led Hunter-Gault, upon her return to The
University of Georgia in 1969, to claim that racism remained prevalent?
2. How do you think that Hunter-Gault’s experiences at
UGA may have influenced her work in South
Africa? Do you foresee your educational circumstances and experiences
influencing you as you choose a career?
Does it surprise you that an institution of higher learning would
resist integration instead of embracing it? Did students, teachers,
and parents resist the
integration of southern schools equally intensely
but for different reasons? Finally, do you think that integration
would have occurred at UGA if the courts had
4. Visit The University of Georgia's web
site dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the school's integration. On
the site, a University alumnus, Robert B. Hirsch of the Class
of 1962, recalls the following: "One thing that I have always
wondered about was the fact that a black graduate student was
in . . . sociology class before the arrival of Hunter and Holmes.
I don't know if she was from the United States or an exchange
student from another country." If
there were black students from foreign countries admitted to the
University before 1961, why do you think there was such an outcry
over the admission of two African American students?
Take it to the
Read the online excerpt of Mitchell
J. Chang's article entitled Who
Benefits from Racial Diversity in Higher Education? Then
divide a blackboard, whiteboard, or flip chart into two sections. Make
two lists: one of places or circumstances where difference and
diversity may not prove beneficial, and the other of places and
circumstances where diversity is an advantage. Based on these
ideas, compose a journal entry that considers one or two specific
examples of your experiences of diversity in college or school
and whether or not you think these encounters helped or hindered
your fellow students to share their journal entries
by reading them aloud to the rest of the class.
Bane, John Harris, Noele Hart, Jenny Stein, and Aidan Wolpin in
Professor Barbara McCaskill's ENGL 2400 (Survey of Multicultural
American Literature), at The University of Georgia, Spring 2007.
Editors and Researchers:
Kamille Bostick, Christina L. Davis, Mary Boyce Hicks, and Professor
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