…/”–.—-‘———–1—“:::—- TEXAS LAWMEN BANGER JA ES BRUER BARRY WIC “If there’s fightin’ to be done .. get at it!” 4t4 G included at least some fighting. Coming to Texas from North Carolina in 1841, Buck served in the Army of the Republic of Texas under John Coffee Hays. With the outbreak of the Mexican War, he joined the Texas Rangers and headed South for a little faster action. He got it, also a severe wound at Monterrey. Mustered out, Barry convalesced on the banks of the Trinity, with only Indian horse thieves to keep things lively. Such calm couldn’t last, so he took on the job of Sheriff of Navarro County, serving three terms. Then Indian fighting seemed to offer renewed opportunities for action, and he was commissioned by Governor Sam Houston to organize a frontier defense company. This action merged into a prominent role in the Civil War, with a rise to Lieutenant Colonel. In his later years Buck Barry reluctantly consented to battle with words only, and represented the Basque District in the State Legislature .. another Ranger who helped to shape the frontier wilderness into the great state of Texas. Today Texans owe much to the lawmen who brought peace to the frontier. and to industry and commerce, bringing prosperity and pleasure. The brewing industry has provided community revenues, payrolls and the refreshment of moderation. In Texas “Beer Belongs,” and the United States Brewers Association is constantly at work with brewers. wholesalers and Jr rFS retailers to assure the sale of beer and ale under pleasant, orderly and lawabiding conditions. ..1 TEXAS DIVISION UNITED STATES BREWERS ASSOCIATION, Inc AUSTIN -FOR NEGRO PROFESSORS Integration Ends ‘Security for Mediocrity’ system -as of 1963. As of that year, will Negro students be content to take a “colored degree” \(TSU is fractionally integrated, but it is still commonwhen they can move up the street and for the same tuition get a fully integrated degree? And if they do move, what will happen to TSU? The exodus of Negro students from TSU, said Nabrit, “is theoretically possible. But take Howard University. It is in a city where there are five integrated universities they’ve been integrated for at least the last ten yearsand ,’et Howard is growing. Or go up to Austin, you have a school where the tuition is four times what it is at the state university, and yet Huston-Tillotson is still healthy and expanding.” Tolerant Training The reason Negro colleges still attract Negro students, he said, is that Negro colleges are more willing to take into consideration the handicaps that students come to them with. “Students coming out of Negro high schools still show one and a half to two years grade level lag in achievement,” Nabrit said. “It reflects the dual system of schooling. Assuming everybody is conscientious and really trying to overcome this lag, it will still take us 20 years to do so. “We have to work with so many things. There is the matter of family aspirations, which affect the student’s motivation. There is the matter of economic background; this is summarized in Conant’s Slums and Suburbs. He says slums are generating a possible rebellion because the slum youngsters fear society won’t give them the same opportunity it gives non-slum youngsters. It is not enough to just desegregate these ghetto schools; we’ll also have to put better teachers in them, and give the students a real chance to use their talents.” In proof of the poor schooling given in TeXas Negro high schools, including big city Negro high schools, Nabrit pointed out that 90 percent of TSU’s freshmen have to take either remedial English or remedial mathematics, or both. Half of TSU’s freshman class of 1,000 drop out, most of them because they can’t keep up with the work. “If they can’t make it here, they couldn’t make it at Rice, if Rice let them in,” said Nabrit. Each year TSU tests the top 10 percent of the Houston Negro high school graduates. “These 35 or 40 students all have four-year scholarships,” he explained. “They are the best Negro students in Houston. But our tests show that only three or four of the group have progressed beyond the 12th grade level. The rest are below that level. Some of these students go to integrated colleges and make the grade. Some have unpleasant experiences. Better Than None “On the other side of the picture, in the last two bar exams, out of seven TSU law students, five passed. But, I dare say that although they passed here, and although they passed the bar examination, they couldn’t have got into or stayed at the University of Texas law school. The competition would have been too keen for them, with their backgrounds. But because our law school enrollment is so smallwe have only about 40 students in itthe instruction is almost tutorial.” Nabrit said that at present each class at the “Galveston medical branch of UT averages one Negro student, the Dallas branch about two Negroes per class. He indi cated that his is not a sign of discrimination but of competition. “The state is also supporting the medical education of 26 Negroes at Meharry Medical School \(Nashthe two schools that are still training the bulk of Negro doctors. Now, a study has been made of the students at Meharry and Howard, and it was found that only 20 percent to 30 percent of them attain the national median for medical students. Which means that if the majority of them had to compete in the open market,” compete with white students with a better background of schooling, “they simply wouldn’t get a medical education . . . at a time when Negro medical doctors are needed as never before.” Nabrit, who has served’ as a director of a number of scholarship funds and is still on the Southern Fellowship Fund and Danforth Foundation Fund boards, says he has noticed that whenever the graduate record examination is introduced as one factor in selection, “the number of Negroes accepted drops.” A native of Macon, Georgia, Nabrit has survived so much racial conflict that he now takes the whole problem with towering calm. He had to attend private high schools in Augusta and Atlanta because those cities did not have public Negro high schools before 1923. He took a bachelor of science from Morehouse College, a private Negro college, in 1921 and went on to Brown University of the Ivy League, where he got his master’s in biology in 1927 and his doctorate in 1932. But he did not do it without opposition. “No Negro had been admitted to the graduate program at Brown before,” he recalled. “They had a cozy family situation there and they were reluctant to change any part of it. The president of the university had to order them to admit me.” Nabrit was the first Negro PhD from Brown. One gets the feeling that Nabrit has little sympathy for Negro professors who have stopped short oi the terminal degree \(which iik and who use Negro colleges as a sinecure against competition with white professors. When he took over the presidency of TSU in 1955, he gave notice to 23 members of the then allNegro faculty to get back in school and start working for a higher degree, or get out. They got out. In hiring their replacements, Nabrit paid no attention to skin color, nor has he in subsequent hirings, with the result that today there are 34 white professors on the faculty of 158more white professors than there are white students at TSU. “I employed white professors,” Nabrit explained simply, “because there were not enough qualified Negroes with PhDs for the positions.” His fondness for professors with terminal degrees has continued until today 40 percent of the TSU faculty has that type of degree, as contrasted with the 18 percent when Nabrit came. Security Gone If some of TSU’s students transfer to the University of Houston, as Nabrit expects”you’ll always have some who want to pioneer, who want to be martyrs”he also expects the flow to be in the other direction also, with an increasing mixture on both the student and faculty levels, and this will put increasing pressure on the Negro professors for quality production. “The Negro faculty member will not have the security for mediocrity he had when we were isolated,” said Nabrit. “Isolation breeds mediocrity.” But those Negro professors who are equipped to compete will survive, he said. “I think the South will buy the best brains it can find.” When the University of Louisville killed its Negro branch and Integrated, he pointed out, it hired one of the 16 Negro professors formerly employed in the segregated college and today he is head of the department of sociology. He said when he attended the University of Chicago in 1925, there was only one Negro on the faculty, in the medical department. “Now there are about five, in all departments.” What the Negro professor needs, said Nabrit, is stubbornness. “When I was at Brown, there was a Jew by the name of C He was an instructor, and every year they told him that would probably be his last year. There was a prejudice against Jews at Brown then such as there is against Negroes many places today. But he hung on. He had tenacity. He did good work, and they had to keep re-hiring him. I noticed in the latest alumni magazine he is still there and now he is a full professor.” Cake Both Ways Dr. Howard Bell, history professor at TSU and one of the first white teachers hired by Nabrit, said it was not accurate to assume that increased integration would plate a , hardship on the Negro professor. “The stories you read in Ebony about Negro PhDs working as waiters in restaurants in New York because they can’t get work on college faculties just aren’t true. They work as waiters because those jobs are lucrative and they allow the Negroes to stay close to theirhomes. A Negro PhD can get a good teaching job if he wants it.” Bell thinks an influx of more white students would do TSU good, if it raised the level of competition. “We’re not turning out top students,” he said, adding it was because “they want to eat their cake and have it too.” He illustrated: “A senior just came to my office and talked over his poor showing at mid-term. He Is doing very poorly, though he is a capable student. I was charitable to give him a C. ‘He’ll work five hours a day and all Saturday to get money to stay in his fraternity. He has been borrowing my book all semester because he hasn’t got one; but he has a fr . at pin. It’s not unusual.” Bell has never taught at an allwhite university. William Harrell, Negro associate professor of pharmacy at TSU \(BA from Washington State, MA server he does not feel his job is imperiled by increasing faculty integration. “I’ve been here 13 years,” he said. “I don’t think they’d just let me go.” But he admitted if a white pharmacy professor with a PhD came along and wanted his job, “it’s possible I might get bumped.” And if he were bumped, where would he goi Harrell said the only other offer of employment he had ever had was from Florida A&M, another Negro college. He noted that Northern universities are not absorbing Negro professors very rapidly. “Michigan has probably 600 people on its faculty,” he said, “and maybe three or four are Negroes.” Dr. John Biggers, Negro chairman of the art department, has a PhD from Penn State, has been published by the University of Texas Press, and on the record of his achievements isn’t likely to hecome unemployed. But he conceded that the prospect of the University of Houston as a state school has everybody on the faculty wondering. “I certainly believe we must have Integration, and if I get caught, I get caught. Many of us feel we may have to go to Africa to teach” because there won’t be openings on white faculties. In this respect, he called integration “a two-edged sword.” He said the outlook isn’t entirely bleak, mentioning the Negro head of the sociology department at Haverford and of the history department at Brooklyn University. “But it’s just a handful, they are the best the Negroes have to offer. Still, the trend in the last 10 years is toward Northern colleges hiring the best Negro professors away from Southern colleges. Atlanta University and Howard used to have the best Negro professors, but no longer; they’ve been drained off by Northern schools.” In Austin, Dr. John Seabrook, president of Huston-Tillotson College, predicted that Negro colleges would be in existence long past the advent of full integration. He said Negro students “aren’t going to bombard white universities,” because family ties or economic restriction or poor preparation would hold them back. “And some just don’t want to go to white schools,” he said. He admitted that “Negro professors have to be very outstanding in their particular fields” if they expect to be hired by even Northern universities, but good Negro scientists find employment fairly easy “and this isn’t emblazoned in the headlines.” One of the primary obstacles to the advancement of Negro colleges is lack of funds; and in this regard there is a vicious circle: when a college loses its accreditationas will happen with several Texas Negro colleges this year it ,is more difficult to attract studentsand also more difficult to attract alumni cash support. Eut without a steady inflow of tuition and alumni money, the chances of the college’s ever climbing back to the accreditation level are even slimmer. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 Dec. 8, 1961
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.