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Annotated Bibliography
Alice Jackson - U.Va. Desegregation Case
UVA Library Special Collections University Archives
President’s Papers. John Newcomb. General Records. Subseries II, Box 18.
RG2/1/2.491. 1934-1936 “Negro Admissions.” Includes President Newcomb’s
correspondences, letters, newspaper clippings all discussing the Jackson case, and
possible actions.
Board of Visitors minutes. 1935-1936. Box M-2147. Call/access #: 171-j.
Mostly records of money given to Jackson and others under Scholarship bill.
NAACP files
Micfilm 1568. Part 3A. Reel 6, Group 1, Box C- 203. Correspondences mostly between
Charles Houston and Byron Hopkins, discussing the pending Jackson case from
beginning (Summer of 1935) to end (Fall of 1936). Interesting letters, including drafts of
letters written for Jackson to send to UVA, opinions on the viability of the case, reasons
for possibly not pushing forward with it (her academic performance at Smith), and many
other pertinent letters.
7/31/35. Houston to Hopkins. “Found us a real good plaintiff for a test case
against the U. VA.: Alice Carlotta Jackson.” Instructs Hopkins to begin
coordinating with Jackson.
8/14/35- Houston to Hopkins. Tell Jackson to send an informal application (a
registered letter to UVA stating all the information which would be called for by
the regular application blank).
8/18/35- Copy of newspaper article. “National Negro Body to Delay U. of VA.
Fight.” RTD, 8/18/35.
8/26/35- Houston to Hopkins. Outlines course of action Jackson should take,
letters she should write, etc. Directs Hopkins to hold off on drafting pleadings in
Jackson’s case because “we have not exhausted our remedies within the UVA
8/27/35 “Futile and Unwise” RTD
8/27/35 “Negro to Open Court Fight to Enter U. of Va.” RTD
8/28/35 “Badly Advised” The Richmond News Leader.
8/29/35 Hopkins to Houston. Reporting latest update on case, that Jackson
received letter from UVA that a formal application is unnecessary but to write
Smith College and the Virginia Union Universities to send transcripts of her
9/3/35 Houston to Norrell (Editor, Richmond Planet) Garnering support, and
states, “’Amicable race relations’ are pleasant but must not be purchased at the
price of fundamental rights.
9/6/35- Houston to Hopkins. Acknowledges criticisms that NAACP is focusing
on the wrong target, and directs Hopkins to start making “an attack on
discrimination in the Richmond Public schools, teachers’ salaries, etc. This
would not be a bad move to go along with the UVA case.” And gives suggestions
on how to go about it.
9/6/35 Hopkins to W. P. Milner. Garnering support for a movement to attack
inequalities in public schools.
9/7/35- Editorial in Richmond Planet “go forward NAACP and fight it”
9/11/35- Hopkins to Houston. Advising Jackson on how to “approach” the
NAACP for help.
9/13/35- NAACP PUBLIC STATEMENT States: No provision is made by the
state of Virginia for graduate work in any subject for colored students…. It is
expected the BOV will deny admission, but the NAACP push forward if
9/18/35- Houston to Mr. Young, Editor of Journal and Guide. Encourages him to
do eye opening articles on conditions of Negro rural schools.
9/20/35- Smith College Dean Nicolson to President Neilson. Copy of a Smith
College memorandum: States she was “entirely incapable of carrying work at the
Master’s level” and was transferred to undergraduate work in the second
semester. “I think that the UVA undoubtedly had “good and sufficient reasons”
for her exclusion. It is unfortunate that they ever brought up the matter of her
race.” Since letter is unofficial, can not tell if it is racially motivated.
9/20/35- Byron completes and sends briefing of Jackson case and full
investigation of education laws in Va. To national headquarters NAACP
9/21/35 Houston to Hopkins. Instructing Hopkins on tactics for winning the
Jackson case, and not to mention her race in the courts, so that UVA has to bring
it up.
9/21/35- RTD editor suggests case will lead to the “amalgamation” of the races.
9/22/35- Copy of the Open Letter to the Editor of the Times Dispatch. Richmond
9/24/35- NAACP drafted letter for Jackson to send to UVA requesting her reasons
for refusal.
10/4/35 Houston to Dabney. Asks for “any qualified students who wish to apply
to the UVA for graduate or professional studies” just in case Jackson’s case
“goes off on a technicality...and a new suit can be filed immediately.”
10/4 through mid-November- (10/31 letter) looking for other students to apply ,
“it will be evidence that Miss Jackson’s application is a forerunner of a mass
demand rather than an individual request of a Negro for graduate education.”
10/9/35- application request filed to the School of Law at UVA by black male.
10/11/35 Hopkins to Houston. Acknowledges “confidential” Smith memo but
believes it is “immaterial in a mandamus proceedings to compel the admission of
a student upon an application. The University sets up certain requirements for
admission and anything other than a denial that Miss Jackson has these
requirements is incompetent.”
10/17/35 Houston to Hopkins. First negative comment on case “don’t
cease your research simply because the Jackson case does not look bright.”
10/18/35 Hopkins to Houston. Asking advise whether or not to accept National
Students League’s invitation to speak at the public student forum on the Alice
Jackson case.
10/20+?/35- NSL sponsors an open forum discussion of the Jackson case in
Madison Hall (student union of UVA)
10/25/35- MEMO from Secretary Walter White. Summarizes meeting with Dr.
Douglas Freeman discussing the UVA case, pros and cons. Admits mistake in
tactics: “perhaps unfortunate and a mistake that the first case discussed in
connection with the UVA was that of a person who desired graduate training; that
perhaps it would have been better, so far as public opinion is concerned , if it had
been a case of a person desiring professional training…”
10/31/35 Houston to Washington University Chapter of the National Student
League. Thanks them for their letter to the UVA Board of Visitors.
11/2/35 Houston to Dabney. “We have been holding the UVA case until more
students apply for admission to the University. Presently 4 or 5 applications for
admission soon.” Samples of applicants.
11/35 Journal of Negro ED. Article- Requests more qualified applicants for grad
school to apply to UVA because of “recent developments in the Jackson vs. UVA
case…suggest that the case may be lost on a technicality without achieving a
clear-cut decision on the basic issue- whether Virginia is obligated to provide
graduate training for her Negro citizens. Yet the case will probably be continued,
largely in the hope of frightening the Virginia Assembly (which meets in January)
into making some provision for graduate study for Negroes.”
12/9/35- Houston to C. H. Hamlin. “As you can appreciate, we need a case
where there can be no possible objection except on the ground of color. We are
on the way to getting such a case but are not sure of it at the present time.”
12/10/35 D. A. Wilkerson to Samuel Madden. “There are several features of Miss
Jackson’s case which cause it to fall short of a “perfect” test case.” Requests him
to apply to UVA because he’d be “perfect’
12/14?/35- State Board of Education authorizes a graduate department at the
Virginia State College for Negroes at Petersburg. “May solve case of Alice
1/3/36-NAACP public statement. “The position of the NAACP Regarding
Graduate and Professional Study for Negroes in Publicly Supported Universities
in Virginia.” Does not oppose the inauguration of graduate work at Va. State
College for Negroes, but must be equal to white schools. Threatens to file
Jackson case and “any other cases which may be ready whenever it thinks the
proper moment has arrived.”
1/10/36 Arthur Davidson, Editor of the Northern Virginia Daily to Houston.
Advises him not to threaten good race relations.
3/18/36 Houston to Hopkins. Does not think Scholarship Bill is Constitutional.
8/4/36 Houston to Roy Wilkins. The NAACP won’t touch the Jackson case but
hope for another. Yet says there is “no reason for letting the VA. authorities
know the Jackson case is no longer a threat over their heads.”
8/6/36 Wilkins to W. T. Christian, Editor of the Richmond News Leader. Claims
that he does not know what’s happening with the Jackson case.
8/25/36 Jackson to Walter White- Asks for assistance in getting a position of
some kind in NYC, begun work on Mater of Arts degree in English at Columbia
because “my application to the UVA last year closed all doors- both state and
government – to me.”
9/11/36- Jackson writes to UVA requesting more tuition money
9/15/36 Dean Geo. O. Ferguson of UVA to Jackson. Replies to Jackson request
for more tuition money: It appears that the difference between the cost of
attending Columbia University and UVA may be more than $150 for a session.
However, education facilities equal to those of UVA may be obtained in a
considerable number of American universities at a differential cost of
considerably less than $150.
10/16/36 White to Jackson. Tells her to “take the $150 offered by the UVA with
the distinct understanding that you reserve the right to demand more if your
expenses at Columbia are more than that sum.”
Newspaper Articles (in chronological order)
August 1935
Negro Enters Maryland University. Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 26.
African American Murray gains admittance into Md. Through lawsuit, compares
the Murray and Jackson cases.
Negro Plans Battle in Court to Enter University of Virginia. Richmond TimesDispatch, August 27. Jackson to press charges if not admitted, also focuses on
neglected school children, and argues for keeping good race relations. (P 1)
Colored Woman Seeks to Enter University of VA. The Daily Progress, August
27. Jackson asks for graduate school application form and plans to file suit if she
is rejected.
Colored Woman is Told To Apply. The Daily Progress, August 28. UVA
allows her to submit transcript and NAACP says will not interfere until all
personal resources are exhausted.
National Negro Body to Delay UVA Fight. Richmond Times-Dispatch,
August 28. NAACP announces it won’t intervene in Jackson case until all
personal tactics exhausted. (P 2)
Futile and Unwise. Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 28. Editorial
criticizing case for being threat to good race relations, and also that
NAACP should focus on the state of publicly funded black elementary
schools. (P 10)
Badly Advised. The Richmond News Leader, August 28. Argues that
even if Negro was admitted to UVA, she’d be treated so badly that she
would leave, also argues case is threat to good race relations.
U. of Va. To Receive Record of Negro. Richmond Times-Dispatch,
August 30. UVA is allowing Jackson to submit her transcript. (p 4)
To Sue For College Entry. Richmond Planet, August 31. Chief of staff of
NAACP declares will fight for Jackson case.
Our Educational Dilemma and Proposed Court Action as a Remedy.
Norfolk Journal and Guide, August 31. Discusses black and white school
systems, inequalities, and what to do about it.
September 1935
Negro Girl Makes College Fight. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September
1. Discusses application, part of bigger NAACP movement, might be
rejected on technical grounds such as inadequate credits. (Sect IV, p 1)
Legalistic Rights. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 2. Criticizes
NAACP for choosing the wrong target, threat to amicable race relations. (p
Color at University. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 2. Case will
do more harm than good for colored people. (p 6)
Unwise and Harmful. Richmond Times-Dispatch. September 2. Case is
negatively taking away from attention needed for public schools, and also
tells NAACP to back out. (p 6)
Let Us Understand Each Other. Norfolk Journal and Guide, September 7.
Presents both black and white sides of Jackson case and calls for a “plea
for understanding.”
NAACP To Stress the Right of Negroes to Enter State Colleges.
Richmond Planet, September 7. Discusses NAACP strategy, according to
NAACP Secretary Walter White.
Simpson, Joseph. Sidewalks of the South. Richmond Planet, September
7. Five separate editorials discussing the white newspapers, defending
the NAACP’s stance, and arguing against the “amicable race relations” position.
Negroes at U.Va. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 11. Argues
against the “amicable race relations” argument, and tells NAACP to fight.
(p 8)
Race ‘Purge’ Extended to Nazi Schools. Richmond Times-Dispatch,
September 11. Article describing “horrible” methods of segregation of
Jews in Nazi Germany (ironic parallels with blacks in the South). ( p1)
U. of Va. To Act on Application of Negro Today. Richmond TimesDispatch, September 19. Announced that Board of Visitors is going to decide on
the application, and also NAACP will take up case if needed.
Application of Negro Student Rejected by University Board. Richmond
Times-Dispatch, September 20. Cite official letter sent to Jackson
“respectfully refusing” her admittance. (p 1)
Alice Jackson’s Plans Not Sure. The Richmond News Leader, September
20. Discusses BOV rejection letter to Jackson and future options.
University of Virginia Bars Negro Girl Student. The New York Herald
Tribune, September 20. Discusses case as part of bigger NAACP test case
Application of Negro Student Disapproved by Graduate Board. College
Topics, September 21. BOV rejects Jackson, NAACP probably take it on
as a test case.
Best for Both Races. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 21.
Editorial by Editor of RTD suggesting that the admission of Jackson will
lead to the mixing of the races. P6
Board Rejects Application of Richmond Girl. Journal and Guide,
September 21. Discusses rejection and the mandamus proceedings being
prepared by NAACP.
Colored Students. The Daily Progress, September 21. Jackson case
focuses attention on the fact that Virginia has not provided sufficient
educational opportunities for colored students.
Colored Girl Barred By U.Va. The Daily Progress, September 21. Cites
official letter, also describe NAACP’s actions.
U. of Va. Ponders Girl’s Application. The Reflector, September 21.
Describe events in case, Jackson’s background and “blow at amicable
race relations” account.
Application Referred to Board. Richmond Planet, September 21.
Discussing events of case, predicting Board’s rejection and NAACP’s
Druggist Will Sue University of Va. Richmond Planet, September 21. Dr.
Jackson will go to court to sue for his daughter’s entry into the grad
Cruelty and Segregation. Richmond Planet, September 21. Article
compares the Nazi segregation of Jews in schools which was considered
so horrible by the Richmond News Leader, and what’s happening with the
Jackson case.
An Open Letter to the Editor of the Times-Dispatch. Richmond Planet,
September 22. Angry response to “Best for both races” editorial, arguing
that this fight is for the much larger question of equality, shoots down most
of the commonly heard arguments at the time.
Unpleasant Episode. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 23.
Amicable race relations argument, and also suggests opening graduate
school at Virginia State College.
Negro Enters Maryland U. On Court Order. Richmond Times-Dispatch,
September 28. African American Donald Murray Registers in Law School after
Board Refusal reversed, may set precedent for Jackson case.
Negroes at U.Va. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 28. Attacks “mixing of
races” argument, and the Richmond-Times Dispatch for writing it.
The Racial Problem. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 28. There is a better
way of solving this issue, local leaders should organize and come to a
compromise, the NAACP should get out.
University of Virginia Case Now Before the NAACP. Richmond Planet,
September 28. Jackson approaches NAACP to handle the case.
An Open Letter to the Times Dispatch. Richmond Planet, September 28. Letter
from reader addressing RTD Editor’s editorials attacking “race-mixing”
argument, “rocking the boat” argument, and putting forth the basic right for
Admit Law School Student to Maryland U. Richmond Planet, September 28.
Discusses recent enrollment of African American Donald Murray into U.
A Scare-Crow in Defense of Jim Crow. Richmond Planet, September 28.
Arguing that the break down of Jim Crow will not lead to race-mixing, it has
already happened within the system.
Hands Off. Richmond Planet, September 28. Argues that the Virginia
Commission on Interracial relations is no help.
Negroes and Race Mixture. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 29. Attacking
RTD Editor for “race-mixing” argument (Sect 4, p 2).
Alice Jackson’s Case. Richmond Times-Dispatch, September 29. Questions
Jackson’s motives for applying to UVA, is it because she wants to attend, or for
the broader principle of equality in higher education. (Sect 4, p 2)
October 1935
Negroes in White Schools. Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 3. A pro separate
but equal argument.
N.S.L. Raps Visitors on Jackson Decision. College Topics, October 5. Copy of
letter sent to BOV and stance.
In Behalf of Negroes. Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 5. Arguing that the
amalgamation of the two races is a flimsy argument, and that the more educated
one becomes, the more they have pride in their own race, and stick to their own.
(p 6)
Assails Ban on Negress. The New York Times, October 6. Describes NSL’s
actions and letter to BOV condemning action in the Jackson case.
U.VA. Senate Supports Board. The Daily Progress, October 5+?. Student Senate
criticizes NSL letter to BOV.
NSL to Hold Forum Discussion on Jackson Case. College Topics, October 10.
Talks about controversial forum NSL student group to put on.
The NSL Again. College Topics, October 10. Editorial that the Board was right
in its decisions, this is the “South” and the NSL does not know what it’s talking
UVA Asked to State All Reasons for Rejecting Miss Alice Jackson. Richmond
Planet, October 12. Discusses letter sent by Jackson to Board.
To the Editor of College Topics. College Topics, October 12. NSL defends its
stance once again, defending each attack.
Locking the Stable After the Horse is Stolen. Richmond Planet, October 12.
Attacking white Virginia School Board for inadequate funding of black public
Anything to Keep the “Nigger” Down. Richmond Planet, October 12. Attacking
white Virginia School Board for inadequate funding of black public schools.
Plight of the Negro College. Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 13. Virginia
State College in trouble because white men on the white board lent VSC’s money
to the building of a white Methodist Church.
The Case of Negroes. Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 18. Attack on
NAACP, and focus should be on public elementary schools.
Ashamed of Them. Richmond Planet, October 19. Commends NSL for their
letter to BOV.
N.S.L. Forum Discussion Held on Jackson Question. College Topics, October 10.
Reports on forum sponsored by NSL and both sides of integration argument.
November 1935
Jim Crow Education Appeal Heard in Md. Richmond Planet, November 16.
University of Maryland tries to appeal Murray decision.
Race Equality. Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 19. For racial equality, but
not race mixing; fear of mulattoes.
Negro Victory In U. Va. Fight Predicted Here. Richmond Times-Dispatch,
November 26. NAACP is fighting for the equality for Negro school children and
for graduate school applicants.
December 1935
Post Graduate Negro School Is Authorized. Richmond Times-Dispatch,
December 15. The Virginia State Board of Education is starting a graduate school
at Virginia State College in Petersburg, and authorization may solve case of Alice
NAACP to Press Suits. Richmond Planet, December 21. NAACP still to push
cases forward regardless of recently opened Graduate school at Virginia State
Simpson, Joseph. Sidewalks of the South. Richmond Planet, December 21.
Discussing tactics state of Virginia and Board of Education is using to avoid law
January 1936
NAACP’s Position On Rights of Negroes in Tax Supported Schools. Richmond
Planet, January 11. NAACP’s official stance on equal education fight.
Maryland High Court Orders University to Admit Negro Student. Richmond
Planet, January 25. Discusses verdict of Murray case in Maryland.
Literary Sources
Dunbar, Anthony. “Against the Grain: Southern Radicals and Prophets” 1929-1936.
Discusses liberal left movements (like the National Student League) and their campaigns.
Buhle, Mari Jo and Paul, and Dan Georgakas. “Encyclopedia of the American Left.”
New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Includes information and definitions of the
National Student League and Student League for Industrial Democracy. (p 799-802)
Kaye, Brian. The History of Desegregation at UVA. 1979. A detailed history of the
desegregation at UVA, specifically focusing on the Gregory Swanson case.
Student papers, University of Virginia [manuscript], 1990-1995. Martin A. Wilder, Jr.,
“Portrait of a Student Radical: W. Palmer Weber and the 1930’s Activist Movement at
the University of Virginia,.” Discusses the anti-war movement on the grounds in the
1930s and the application of African American Alice Jackson, and the role of the NSL in
both events. Classification NO. RG/22/1/1.981 Record Group No./ Title: 22. Students
and Alumni Papers, Lecture Notes Student Papers and Assignments. Sub Group No: 1
Online Sources: A website discussing many different
sources for African-American studies, including possible links to desegregation of UVA.
Gaston, Paul. “Jim Crow’s Demise: The UVA Story.” Draft.html
Discusses three principal stages of UVA’s desegregation movement, the era of Supreme
Court litigation and Gregory Swanson, the movement building in the student body, and
the actual recruitment of black students and faculty. Copy of Jackson’s letter to
the Rector and BOV, 9/28/35 “The Anti-War
Movement of the Thirties.” Discusses Palmer Weber’s leadership and the NSL anti-war
activities, and mentions Alice Jackson. “Alice Jackson
Stuart” Feb 27, 2002. Obituaries Richmond Times-Dispatch. Jackson’s official obituary
http://www.virginiaedu/insideuva/1999/26/hooville.html Inside UVA Online. August
27, 1999. Article on “All the Hoos in Hooville” display in Alderman library, touches on
Alice Jackson’s letter to the BOV. Obituaries in the news. Yahoo News.
Obituary of Alice Jackson Discusses
UVA’s all-white male traditions, and difficulties of minorities to enroll, etc.
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