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UGA Dean Publishes Book on the Fight to End Segregation at Georgia State

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Segregated schools in Georgia didn't end with Brown v. Board of Education. Myra Elliot learned this when she tried to return to college and attend Georgia State University after leaving for a full-time job.

Elliot, now 83, joined Barbara Pace Hunt and Iris Mae Welch, now deceased, in a lawsuit to challenge Georgia's segregation of schools. Despite winning, they were still rejected from attending Georgia State.

In his newly released book “Ground Crew: The Fight to End Segregation at Georgia State," Maurice C. Daniels chronicled the fight of those three students to attend college. 

“I was just young, naïve and stupid,” Elliot told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

The lawsuit, Hunt v. Arnold, became the NAACP's first federal court victory against segregated education in Georgia, the AJC reported. 

“I call them the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement, said Daniels, dean emeritus and professor emeritus at the University of Georgia School of Social Work, to the AJC. “It required a lot of courage by all these students. They were willing in essence to put their lives on the line."

Hunt v. Arnold helped Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes integrate UGA in 1961.

It wasn’t until a year after UGA’s integration that two African American women enrolleda t GSU. And Marybelle Reynolds Warner became Georgia State’s first full-time African American student. 

"I never expected it and that wasn't my reason for being part of the lawsuit,” Elliot told the AJC. “They told me I couldn't go to that school, and I started thinking about all the black children who might want to go. That was my reason."

For more on the book, the AJC’s article can be found here, and the book is for purchase here.

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