Ground Crew
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Ground Crew

The Fight to End Segregation at Georgia State

Title Details

Pages: 200

Illustrations: 14 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 10/15/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5597-9

List Price: $30.95


Pub Date: 10/15/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5595-5

List Price: $104.95

Ground Crew

The Fight to End Segregation at Georgia State

The forgotten details of a landmark case against segregation in the South

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  • Description
  • Reviews

The Hunt v. Arnold decision of 1959 against the state of Georgia marked a watershed moment in the fight against segregation in higher education. Though the Supreme Court declared school segregation illegal in its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, Georgia was among many southern states that refused to abide by the Court’s ruling. In 1956, the Georgia State College of Business (now Georgia State University) denied admission to nine black applicants. Three of those applicants—lead plaintiff Barbara Pace Hunt, Iris Mae Welch, and Myra Elliott Dinsmore—coordinated with the NAACP and local activists to win a groundbreaking lawsuit against the state of Georgia and its Board of Regents. Hunt v. Arnold became the NAACP’s first federal court victory against segregated education in Georgia, establishing key legal precedents for subsequent litigation against racial discrimination in education.

With Ground Crew, Maurice Daniels provides an intimate and detailed account that chronicles a compelling story. Following their litigation against the all-white institution, Hunt, Welch, and Dinsmore confronted hardened resistance and attacks from white supremacists, including inflammatory statements by high-profile political leaders and personal threats from the Ku Klux Klan. Using archival sources, court records, collections of personal papers, news coverage, and oral histories of that era, Daniels explores in depth the plaintiffs’ courageous fight to end segregation at Georgia State. In lucid prose, Daniels sheds light on the vital role of community-based activists, local attorneys, and the NAACP in this forgotten but critical piece of the struggle to end segregation.

In Ground Crew, Maurice Daniels recovers the history of Hunt v. Arnold, the important yet little-known case in which courageous lawyers and activists sought to end Jim Crow at the Georgia State College of Business. Ground Crew should be required reading for students of the black freedom struggle.

—Tomiko Brown-Nagin, author of Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement, winner of the Bancroft Prize

Daniels weaves together extensive archival research and interviews with people involved in, familiar with, and affected by the case to illustrate how the fight to desegregate Georgia State fit within the NAACP’s overarching strategy to desegregate higher education. Ground Crew represents an excellent addition to the literature on higher education desegregation

—Melissa Wooten, Journal of African American Studies

About the Author/Editor

MAURICE C. DANIELS is dean emeritus and professor emeritus at the UGA School of Social Work. Daniels is cofounder and director of The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, which was established in 1999. He is the author of Saving the Soul of Georgia: Donald L. Hollowell and the Struggle for Civil Rights (Georgia), and Horace T. Ward: Desegregation of the University of Georgia, Civil Rights Advocacy, and Jurisprudence. He is also the executive producer of four critically acclaimed public television documentaries on the civil rights movement.