Black Women's Political Activism Timeline Fall 2012
Sophie Newcomb reveals her vision for her donation by stating, “I hereby donate to your board the sum of $100,000.00, to be used in establishing a Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, in the Tulane University of Louisiana, for the higher education of white girls and young women.”
Tulane Professor of Political Science, John B. Furey, writes a letter to Director of Admissions of Tulane School of Social Work
Dr. Cliff W. Wing Jr., Tulane Political Science Professor, recommends Pearlie Hardin Elloie to the School of Social Work. His letter reads, “I think everyone will agree that there is a critical need for social welfare workers in the Negro community of New Orleans…I selected this student with the same care with which the Brooklyn Dodgers selected Jackie Robinson for big league baseball.” He also states, “I am basing my case largely on the responsibility of Tulane University to the local community, without even mentioning the position of Tulane University as an American university and as a world university.”
Pearlie Hardin Elloie contacted Mr. A.P. Tureaud about being denied admission to the Graduate School of Social Work. She states, “my admission would be approved except for the fact that it is not legally possible because I am an Negro.” She then continues, “I believe that I have a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States to attend Tulane University and I intend to bring suit in Federal Court to compel the University to accept my application. I would appreciate it if you would represent me as my attorney in this matter.
Rejection letter from W.L. Kindelsperger, Dean of Tulane University’s School of Social Work reads, The letter states, “ Tulane University recognizes the great need for professionally trained Negro social workers, and pursuant to the policy recently enunciated by the Administration of the Tulane Education Fund, we would approve your admission except for the fact that we believe it is not legally permissible for us to do so. Under the circumstances, therefore, we cannot approve your application.”
Letter from R.M. Lumiansky, Dean and Provost of the Graduate School, to Miss Barbara Marie Guillory
The letter states, “Pursuant to the policy recently annunciated by the Administrators of Tulane University Educational Fund, we would approve your admission except for the fact that we do not believe it is now legally possible for us to do so. Under the circumstances, therefore, we cannot approve your application.”
The letter states, “Tulane has got to desegregate in such a way that it remains a private school… The best chance you have of winning your suit for your clients is a federal suit declaring the Tulane University of Louisiana a state institution for the purpose of the 14th Amendment.” It should be noted that Katherine B. Wright’s role in this process is the other attorney in the case.
John P. Nelson Jr. discloses that he is bringing forth the cases of Barbara Marie Guillory and Pearlie Marie Guillory and Pearlie Hardin Elloie. Nelson Jr. writes, “After careful consideration of the topics we discussed during the conference, I am inclined to recommend to my clients that we pursue our course of action in Federal Court alleging violations of their rights under the 14th Amendment.”
Nelson discusses potential arguments against desegregation in order to create his case. Along with updating her on his process in the case, he mentions that he found, “early precedents of Tulane University never doubted that Tulane was a state institution.” Meaning that Tulane University is not a private university and must abide by the laws of the University of Louisiana.
Nelson Jr. tells Keller that he applied to a 30-day extension to file pleadings. He writes, “There is no further news for the present time. We are just waiting for Little to fie an answer and join issue. Once this is done, then we will be in a position to determine the exact course of action to take.”
Letter from John Nelson Jr. to Mrs. Pearlie Hardin Elloie and Miss Barbara Marie Guillory
Nelson Jr. tells the two women that he agreed to give Tulane Educational Fund until December 2, 1961 to file pleadings. He lists the three defendants as the Tulane Education Fund, the President of Tulane University and the Board of Administrators of Tulane University. He states that they included the Board of Administrators in order to clarify issues.
Letter from US Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division and Chief Appeals and Research Section to John P. Nelson Jr.
The United States Department of Justice explains to Nelson Jr. their confusion with the case including the unclear ground Tulane refused to admit the plaintiffs. Second, they ask if Tulane received any form of state financial assistance. Lastly, the letter claims that Tulane is not a “state institution” within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. They suggest that their questions might be answered through exhibits during the trial. Ultimately, they request clarification and more information regarding Nelson Jr.’s arguments.
Letter introduces Little as attorney on behalf of Tulane. It additionally clarifies that Tulane has no objection to use Mr. Maurice d’Arlan-Needham to analyze Tulane’s records.
Tulane University writes to Alan Butler denying his admission to the university because he applied after the November 1st deadline and applications are not accepted late. Additionally, these letters addressed the state of Tulane University as to whether or not it is a public or private university, Continually, these letters discuss the history of Tulane University and highlights the intention of serving “white young persons” specifically men. These intentions are apparent throughout the desegregation trial and process.
Nelson Jr. follows up with Ingram and provides her with a copy of the pleadings, an Analysis of the Evidence and a brief. He also tells her that the motion for Summary Judgment is set to go before Judge J. Skelly Wright on February 23, 1962. He suggests that she request pleadings from John Little, attorney for Tulane University.
This letter from Harold Cummins, Assistant Dean and Chairman of the Committee on Admissions to Mr. Alan Reid Butler states why the Tulane University School of Medicine cannot accept his application. The letter states, “You meet our standards in these respects for perspective students of medicine. Pursuant to the policy announced in April, 1962, by the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, we would approve your admission except for the fact that we do not believe it is now legally possible for us to do so.” The letter continues to state that they discussed this issue during the interview process so that it should not come as a shock.
Nelson Jr. writes to Little to review the necessary evidence for the trial. Nelson Jr. asks for specific information without going through the necessary discovery procedures. The information he requests includes, “Is it not a fact that the only basis for the exclusion of the plaintiffs from Tulane University of Louisiana is that of race?” He then requests the property owed by the State of Louisiana in 1884 when it was taken over by Tulane University. Third, he requests a general description and value of all state property that is now being used by Tulane University of Louisiana including land and buildings. Fourth, he asks if it is not a fact that, “students of yellow or red races have been students of Tulane in the past.” Fifth, he asks whether or not it is fact that Tulane University of Louisiana operates a medical school in Latin America and would like to know more about these operations. Lastly, Nelson concludes by requesting a list of each donation given to Tulane and where the donation states a “whites only” restriction. He specifies that to his understanding he knows of three donations from Paul Tulane (2) and Sophie Newcomb. Overall, these requests represent the basis of his argument that Tulane University is solely rejecting African-American students because of their race.
Letter from John Patrick Little to John P. Nelson answering the questions proposed in the previous letter.
Little responds to the six questions posed by Nelson Jr. in the previous letter. He first answers saying, “The admittance of the plaintiffs was refused because of their race. No mention was made of Plaintiffs’ physical or moral qualifications in the letters.” Secondly Little writes the exact real estate Tulane acquired when becoming Tulane University of Louisiana. Thirdly, Little states that he is uncertain of the value of the property and that, “the defendants do not concede that any State property is now being used by Tulane University.” Fourth he responds in a snarky matter by saying that he is, “not sufficiently informed in the Science of Ethnology to draw any technical distinctions among the races.” He goes on to then say that some other people who are not Caucasian have been admitted to Tulane before. Fifth, he states that Tulane does not have its own medical school in Latin America but rather has a partnership with the Universidad de Valle in Colombia. Lastly, he agrees that the donations from Paul Tulane and Sophie Newcomb contain specific restrictions only offered for “white” students. He also states that smaller donations likewise contain specific limitations for white students only.
This letter congratulates John P. Nelson Jr. for winning Judge Wright’s decision in Guillory and Elloie v. Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund. He happily congratulates Nelson and asks if he anticipates that the Administration will appeal the decision.
This letter thanks Mr. Byse for his congratulations. Furthermore Nelson encloses a copy of Judge Wright’s decision and confirms Byse’s suspicion that the Administration will appeal the decision.
This letter from the Petitioner for Intervention was written to John P. Nelson Jr., Miss Katherine S. Wright and Mr. John Patrick Little. It discussed a hearing regarding motions filed on June 20, 1952 at 10 a.m. before Judge Frank B. Ellis. The subject letter reads, “In re: No. 11484, Civil action US District Court, Division B Eastern District of Louisiana. Barbara Marie Guillory et al v. The Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund et al.”
The memorandum discusses why, “arguments for expediting Hearing on Guillory et als. Petition.” Moreover, the memorandum includes discussion about race and costs to the Plaintiffs highlighting the importance of physical appearance in the trial.
The letter states, ““Little’s entire argument was based around Act 43” within the founding Tulane University documents central to the case.
This article, similar to the article in the Hullabaloo Newspaper, encloses a draft of the Hullabaloo draft article for publication at a later date.
Nelson Jr. states that he received a letter from Judge Ellis denying his request of clients to be accepted into Tulane University. A few days prior, Judge Ellis reversed his stand for reasons unknown but that Nelson Jr. had heard that morning (December 6). Nelson Jr. heard that the Board voluntarily would admit the “Negro” applicants” without the court mandating them. Tulane University decided to do this in order to better public image and possible save face in light of the Judge’s decision.
The letter mentions the projected actions of the following day. Specifically, Nelson Jr. mentions that the Board of Administrators will notify the public that Negroes will be accepted as students to be admitted in February 1963. The significance of this letter is noted for the 50th anniversary of desegregation at Tulane University in 2013.
The Dean and Provost of Tulane University’s School of Sociology welcomes Barbara Guillory into the PhD program beginning in February 1963 becoming the first African-American woman accepted to the program. The letter of acceptance stems from not only Guillory’s academic background but also as a result of the trial.
Kindelsperger writes to Elloie to formally accept Pearlie Elloie in the Tulane University School of Social Work. However, this acceptance comes with provisional conditions such as finding appropriate and adequate fieldwork before beginning her program,. Elloie finds fieldwork placement available for the Fall of 1963, but still faces discrimination and challenges to get there. These provisions represent the overall community’s feelings towards desegregation by demonstrating the lack of helpful cooperation for the new students.
In order to address current issues such as the Civil Rights movement along with campus issues such as social fraternities and sororities, Tulane University held a “town hall’ forum in the Kendall Cram room of its university center. Over 350 students participated in the event that took a poll on an “integration resolution.” The resolution- “Resolved that Negroes be admitted to all education and social facilities of Tulane and Newcomb College” was defeated by 26 votes.
The Board of Administrators of Tulane University announced a change in policy at the university. "The Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund met Wednesday and voted that tulane University would admit qualified students regardless of race or color if it were legally permissible." The Administrators cite a change in the times and the need to keep up with the times as a reason for the change in policy. "This course of action was taken in the knowledge that Tulane University must move ahead and assume its rightful place of leadership among America's outstanding Universities." Moving forward it will be the policy of Tulane University to admit students regardless of race or color.
Tulane University published an official release on their change in policy regarding the admittance of Negro students. "Tulane University will admit qualified negro students effective with the start of the new semester in February." This is a milestone because it marks the official start of the new policy put into place at Tulane because of the case of Guillory et als. vs. The Administrators of the Tulane Educational Funs, et als. This release sent out by Tulane University marks the start of the implementation of the new policy and commits the University to follow through with the policy moving forward.
Little over a week after a federal court ruled that Tulane is not require to admitted Negro students, the President Jones announced the admittance of Elloie and Guillory to Tulane at the start of the winter semester.
The university was given a federal grant due to its efforts made in desegregating its campus. The Department of Health and Welfare cited that Tulane was “one of 20 institutions” that was awarded funds for a program aimed at the continuation of familiarizing the school with desegregation.
This motion came about because of the historical tradition and policy of not accepting African-American students at Tulane University. Although the university, “understood the need for great Negro professionals” they believed it was wrongfully against the law to admit them. On the same day, President of the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund Joseph M. Jones stated that the policy of no Negroes before Longenecker was appointed and therefore Jones is bound to uphold the policy.
Reid Butler’s affidavit states, ““application was found acceptable to the said authorities, but that his application was denied solely due to the fact that he is a member of the Negro race.”
Member of the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund since April 29, 1947 an President thereof since December 12, 1950 stated, “ That it affiant’s knowledge no Governor, State Superintendent of Education, nor Mayor not, in fact, any other official of either the State of Louisiana, or the City of New Orleans, has sought to exercise (or exercised) any direction, control, supervision, authority or instruction relative to the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund in any manner, including its administration of the University; That the full direction, control, supervision, authority and instruction relative to the University and all of its departments now rests and has, to affiant’s knowledge, always rested with the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, its agents, employees and representatives.”
Seeking admittance into Tulane University, Pearlie Hardin Elloie and Barbara Marie Guillory requested a summary judgment by Federal Judge J. Skelley. The judgement by Skelley would potentially prohibit the university from denying admission to the two because of their race. Attorneys for Elloie and Guillory argued that because Tulane reeives revenue from the state from state-owned land and tax exemptions, it has grounds to be recognized as a public institution. Therefore, the university should grant admission to the plaintiffs under the protection of the 14th amendment.
Judge Skelly Wright ordered for the admittance of Elloie and Guillory to the “all-white” Tulane University. Similar to his ordering of New Orleans public schools integration, Wright issued a judgement which restrained Tulane from prohibiting “Negro entrance” because of race. Wright denied the school’s argument of it being a private institution.
President of Tulane Joseph M. Jones announced the University would appeal Wright’s decision that Tulane is a public institution and therefore must admit Negroes. Jones announced that the board of administrator voted “unanimously” to file an appeal before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Federal distirct Judge Frank B. Ellis ordered a stay, or halt, on all the proceedings in Tulane’s desegregation case.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals announced a delay in the ruling for the Tulane University desegregation case. Judge Ellis cited the delay due to the “sensitivity” of the case and its potential outcomes.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Judge Wright’s ordering of the desegregation at Tulane was not valid. Judge Ellis declared that such was invalid due to the case not being given a full trial. Ellis ruled that the case be given a full trial starting August 4th.
“In the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit No. 19730, Barbara Marie Guillory and Pearlie Hardin Elloie, Appellants, versus The Administrators of the Tulane University of Louisiana, et al., Appellees. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Before Cameron, Brown, and Wisdom, Circuit Judges.
1. PER CURIAM: This case involves the question whether the Negro plaintiffs are entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief compelling Tulane University to admit them as students. As this is the assertion of Federal Constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment, the claim necessarily asserts that Tulane University, by reason of its unique historical background or by circumstances showing substantial state control is a State Agency, or its operation under Act 43 of 1884 constitutes state action. The District Court first granted a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and entered a temporary injunction. Guillory v. Administrators of Tulane University, D.C. La., 1962, 204 F. Supp. 855. Subsequently, on application and motion of Tulane University, the Court granted a new trial, set aside the summary judgment, and vacated the injunction. The plaintiffs appealed from those actions.
2. We AFFIRM the actions attacked by this appeal. We REMAND the case for an early trial and for such other and further action as may be consistent with this order. The mandate of this Court is to be issued forthwith.”
On August, 4th, Federal Judge Frank Ellis began to hear the trial regarding the admittance of two black women into Tulane University. The trial began with a total of ten witnesses testifying before Judge Ellis. In additions, the attorney for the university, John Pat Little, asked that the court refrain from making a decision until “some of the issues have been ruled upon by state courts.” Taken under advisement by the court, the motion proved to ensure a significant period of time before the court’s decision was given.
In the Judge Frank B. Ellis' decision regarding the case of Barbara Marie Guillory and Pearlie Hardin Elloie versus the Administrators of the Tulane University of Louisiana, and Herbert E. Longenecker, President of Tulane University of Louisiana, and the administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, the Judge found Tulane University to be a private institution. "There is insufficient state involvement in the operation of the Tulane University of Louisiana to bring it within the privileges and prescriptions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." As a result of this decision, Tulane University wasn't under any legal obligation to desegregate when they did and this decision helped to preserve Tulane University's status as a private institution.
Following the decision by Wright, Archbishop Joseph Rummel ordered the desegregation of Catholic schools in his archdiocese. The proved to be wildly controversial, as many believed the situation involving Tulane was “much more important” than a situation involving a local private school system. Thus, many believed similar action was not justified.
In a study done by the Times-Picayune, despite the desegregation of Catholic and public schools, along with the Tulane desegregation case, the city of New Orleans did not “experience the bitter violence which has accompanied similar changes in the southeast region.”
Vol. LXVIII N0. 6-Z-258, “Tulane Awaits Judge’s Decision in Guillory Case; Poll Tallies Pro-Integration By Narrow Margin” By: Betsy Roosa
Roosa’s article captures the emotional suspense on Tulane’s campus regarding the desegregation trial. First she recaps the general argument of the Plaintiff. “John P. ‘Jack’ Nelson, attorney for the two Negroes who are suing for admission to Tulane on the graduate level, argued that there is sufficient state involvement for Tulane to be liable to the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal Constitution.” Embedded in the article is a public opinion poll that states that 42% of the Tulane community was opposed to integration. However, it should be noted that 90% of the graduate students believed that Tulane should integrate. This interesting juxtaposition of the two communities (undergraduate and graduate) within the institution of Tulane reflects maturity and logic. Overall, the article’s message projects the potential harm to Tulane’s reputation that seems to become more valuable than the actual process of integration in the minds of students.
Broadcast regarding the new policy at Tulane University, "the university's administrators voted unanimously to admit qualified students regardless of race or color if it is legally permissible." This broadcast announced that the Tulane Administration was ending the traditional policy of admitting White students only and would now admit students of color. However, the broadcast then goes on to state that "The Tulane administrators have a responsibility to respect their legal obligations. But, if and when it's determined that they are not a barrier, Tulane will begin admitting all qualified students." The broadcast then goes on to talk about how this change in policy by Tulane University is a movement away from some of the more traditional ideas held by people in the New Orleans community. The host ends the broadcast with "We believe the leadership exercised by Tulane in this respect is a hopeful sign for New Orleans and Louisiana."
The article reads, ““Wright Speaks to Tulane Men: expects Wider ‘Base of Support’ for Rulings”. Judge Wright said in a speech at Tulane that “ Tulane had sufficient state contacts to bring it within reach of the 14th Amendment- not the US Congress, not the US government and the President of the US… said the state contacts are found in the facts that: 1. Tulane originally was a public university- the University of Louisiana- and its name was changed in 1846 by an act of the state Legislature… 4. It performs a function impressed with a public interest.”
This letter to the editor candidly expresses the desire to maintain segregation on Tulane University’s campus. The anonymous writes, “Tulane does not lack the means to desegregate, it lacks the will.” Perfectly explaining the overall staunch racism from the student body, this letter cites public opinion as the primary reason for not desegregating.
The letter states that although “Negroes” would be allowed to enter the cafeteria, they would not be served food. Scenarios like these throughout the article reflect a discerning tone towards change. Moreover, the quite candid response to the upcoming desegregation creates a community of fraction and division. This division inherently leads to controversy that plagues the perspective of other students who may be more willing to be open to the idea of desegregation. Overall, this article represents a cultural era where political correctness and civility towards those of different races is nonexistent.
In "The Tulane Hullabaloo- Vol. LXVIII No. 13-Z-258" an article was published called "Two Negroes to Enroll Starting Next Semester" which was written by Dean M. Gottehrer- Hullabaloo editor. This article talks about how as a result of the decision made by the The Administrators of Tulane to voluntarily desegregate that afternoon in the following February Negro students will enroll at Tulane. i. “Board of Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund voted at a regular meeting this afternoon to admit all qualified students regardless of race to the undergraduate and graduate schools beginning with the opening of the 2nd semester in February.” This article shows how Tulane was changing with times.
See citation “Judge Ellis' Decision” under Judicial Process layer for more information. The article was published in “The Times-Picayune" Section Two, Pages 10-13 from the morning of December 6, 1962.
See annotation "Change in Administration Policy" under Tulane Community layer for more information. The article was published in “The Tulane Hullabaloo- Vol. LXVIII- Extra Edition- Z-258
An editorial piece in "The Tulane Hullabaloo, Vol. LXVIII Extra Edition Z- 258." It talks about the two benefits of the decision handed down the day before by Judge Frank Ellis. The article cites one of the benefits is that the status of Tulane University as a private institution has been maintained. The other benefit is that there is the possibility that the University will voluntarily desegregate in order to maintain a good public image.
Hullaballoo Editor Gottehrer quotes John P. Nelson, attorney for the plaintiffs saying, “Our clients and other Negroes similarly situated were denied the injunctive relief requested. Our efforts to secure this relief and to place this case on a sound constitutional foundation will be continued. We have filed an appeal and will request an early hearing.” These closing statements reflect both the emotional rollercoaster of the trial but also the motivation for appealing the decision in the Tulane Case. This Hullaballoo article presents a factual occurrence of what happened at the trial and why appeals are being set in motion. The outcome represents the overall division in both public opinion and historical discrimination. Although the defendant’s attorney did not release a statement, the article is overall less biased than others portraying the results. Overall Judge Ellis ruled that Tulane University is a private institution on December 5, 1962 but did not specific whether or not the university should desegregate therefore leaving room for speculation and wild interpretation. It is because of these reasons why Nelson and the plaintiffs plan on appealing.
An article published in "The Tulane Hullabaloo- - Vol. LXVIII No. 15-Z- 258" entitled “Eight College Teachers Among 11 Registrants” under the masthead of “Negroes Register." This article lists the 11 African-Americans registering at Tulane University and the schools to which they are registering. They are the first people of color to register at Tulane University,
In an interview published in "The Tulane Hullabaloo- Vol. LXVIII No. 23-Z-258" in an article entitled “Negro Students Discuss First Impression of University”, a staff writer for the Hullabaloo interviewed some of the African-American students who registered for classes a few months prior, the first students of color to do so. Here is what Miss Barbara Guillory had to say "Anyone who has expressed it has thought that it was very good and wonderful that we showed courage. No one has felt that I was wrong in being a plaintiff in the original suit. So that whatever it is has been good. I think that this was evident the day I registered. There were two or three young men that came up and said, 'We are happy that you are here today'." The tone of the article leaves the reader with the impression that those 11 students who registered for classes in February felt well received on campus and that they felt welcomed. This article helps to highlight the social change that was occurring at Tulane, the South, and around the country at this time.
Hullabaloo Article Vol. LXVIII No. 1-258- “District Court Hears Tulane Case Oral Arguments Judge to Study Briefs; Decision in October” By: Dean M. Gottehrer
This article summarizes the oral arguments in the desegregation case of 1962. The article reads, “Attorney for the plaintiffs, John P. Nelson Jr., argued that their case rests on state involvement in Tulane University. This was a change of emphasis in the case of two Negroes who are suing for admission to Tulane on the graduate level. Nelson made it clear that the question of the public or private nature of Tulane under state law is not an issue. He listed several instances of state involvement with the University today.” The defense argued, “Little summed the defendant’s case up by answering the question whether or not there is significant state action. He maintained that all three branches of Louisiana government had at one time or another rejected their opportunities to control or to influence the University.” The tone of the article reflects deep historical racism not only in the judicial system but also in New Orleans’ community. Moreover this article introduces the role of government and the state in reference to these individual students that highlights the ways in which the individual and state intersect.