Felton Grandison Clark
Part 1
Part 1

Both Clark and Warren are intelligible although there is intermittent humming.

Image courtesy of: © The Archives and Manuscripts Department/John B. Cade Library/Southern University and A&M College/Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Audio courtesy of Yale University.

 

Felton Grandison Clark

Date: 
Feb. 5, 1964
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Felton Grandison Clark
Felton Grandison Clark Bio

Felton Grandison Clark (1903-1970) was president of Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from 1938 until 1969. Clark's father, Dr. Joseph S. Clark, founded Southern University in 1914 and preceded Clark as president of the university. Clark attended Southern and then completed his undergraduate work at Beloit College. He later received graduate degrees, including a doctoral degree, from Columbia University. For many years, Clark served on the advisory staff of the Journal of Negro Education. Clark's tenure as president of Southern included two incidents that attracted national attention. First, in March 1960, a small group of Southern University students participated in sit-in protests at several lunch counters in Baton Rouge; a much larger group of Southern University students, estimated at the time to number 1,000 students, participated in a demonstration on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol. Clark, reportedly bowing to pressure from Governor Earl Long, expelled eighteen of the students who participated in the protests. Hundreds of other students withdrew from the university as a result. Second, in January 1962, Clark temporarily closed the university to combat race-related student demonstrations.

Image courtesy of: © The Archives and Manuscripts Department/John B. Cade Library/Southern University and A&M College/Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Abstract

Clark opines on how integration in higher education will impact historically black colleges and universities, suggesting that white students might one day begin attending HBCUs. Asked whether and why African Americans' perspectives and identities have changed, Clark contends that such developments may be linked to the end of colonization and to worldwide movements for black political self-determination. He considers Du Bois' conception of double consciousness and contends that many African Americans long, above all, for white society to acknowledge their basic humanity. Clark discusses Martin Luther King, Jr.'s support for non-violence, and he considers the potential for African American equality in the North and in the South. Clark also discusses emancipation, Reconstruction, and Abraham Lincoln's legacy, and he briefly considers the criminal trial for the killing of Medgar Evers.

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