Title page for ETD etd-05022009-040731
|Type of Document
||Deel, Anthony Blaine
||Virginia's minimal resistance :the desegregation of public graduate and professional education, 1935-1955
||Master of Arts
|Wallenstein, Peter R.
|Cooke, Michael A.
|Fleming, Daniel B.
- higher education
- African Americans
|Date of Defense
In a twenty year period beginning in 1935, Virginia college and state
officials reacted to increasing pressure from internal and external forces of
change. The movement to desegregate public higher education "\\Tas a major
portion of that pressure. The defenses established by the state during these years
reflected the interrelation of these forces and the Democratic Machine's attempt
to balance all the forces so as to retain the maximum degree of segregated
education at the minimum social, fiscal and political costs. Thus the state leaders
used, what I have termed "minimal resistance" to the desegregation of their
graduate and professional schools rather than the "massive resistance" that
followed Brown v. Board of Education.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the state did all it could to retain segregated
graduate and professional schools for whites with tuition grants to out-of-state
schools and the cost-effective growth at Virginia State College. When these were
declared insufficient by the U.S. Supreme Court, Virginia joined with other
Southern States in joint educational ventures. By 1950, the Virginia officials
realized that segregated higher education was all but a lost cause. They became
conciliatory to the forces of desegregation in hopes of saving segregation in
primary and secondary education. From 1950 to 1955, a period I call "limited
desegregation" existed. During these years, the state's white graduate and
professional schools admitted a very small number of black students under the
"separate but equal" doctrine. The "Machine's" ability to control press and
public debate on desegregation, together with contemporary political events and
the attitudes of Virginians, account for the sequence of desegregation events in
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