Books That Inspire 2008

Blacks in White Colleges: Oklahoma's Landmark Cases
George Lynn Cross

George Lynn Cross, the longest-serving president of the University of Oklahoma (1944-1967), was at the center of events when the University, after more than half a century as a racially-segregated institution, finally became open to African Americans. In this little book, he tells the story of how the forces of open-mindedness, tolerance, and goodwill finally overcame the forces of racism and hatred. It is a dramatic tale of courage, determination, and endurance. Many white students, faculty members, and administrators at the University (including Dr. Cross) played noble parts in this struggle. But, in the end, the reader of this book will be lost in admiration for those pioneering and brave African Americans who came to Norman in the early 1950s, quietly determined to assert their rights as American citizens. The example of their bravery and dignity in the face of mindless bigotry will surely provide ample inspiration to any reader.

David W Levy
David Ross Boyd Professor of History