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Excellence Is Color Blind 5

Southern Illinois University welcomed African American students to campus with open arms during the 1950s, but once they stepped foot into the surrounding Carbondale community, they often faced suspicion and outright hostility. Bill Norwood, retired United Airlines captain; Norma Ewing, Associate Dean of SIUC’s College of Education & Human Services; and Seymour Bryson, Associate Chancellor for Diversity share memories of their alma mater during this turbulent time in our nation’s history. On campus, SIU President Delyte Morris insisted that all students be treated with dignity and respect, but the trio remembers that many white-owned establishments remained segregated, including restaurants and theatres.

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