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seized the pope this
is be he's seen as bright every issue of the paper presents an opportunity and a duty to say something courageous and to rise above the mediocre convention say something that will command the respect of the intelligent educated independent party
rise above fear of partisanship and fear often thankless job if you've tested you at your ideal newspapers in the south during the civil rights revolution of the nineteen fifties and sixties most would fail miserably many newspapers refused to cover stories related to the desegregation struggle especially if they were in their own backyards other editors call for massive resistance to civil rights for blacks among the handful of white newspaper editors in the south who stood firm against popular opinion there was a man who had a time of incredible racial turmoil in the state of alabama said something courageous and true this is the story of a community newspaper responding to one of the most important and emotional issues of our time the story of view from ron and his tuscaloosa means but how
true in mr dylan's called reason the situation with adam really excelling and sentences their financial and sean paul tough role in shaping their opinions and we're going to listen right whatever right on my seventeen nineteen fifty four race relations in alabama and throughout the country would change for after years of legal efforts by the end of lacy be resulted in the supreme court's brown versus board of education decision the court
unanimously ordered desegregation of public schools saying separate but equal facilities were inherently unequal more than one hundred southern members of congress denounced the ruling and urged their constituents to defy the reaction of the southern white press was much the same the average newspaper in the deep south after brown versus board of education was much like the average politician applause for consideration about one and all that followed by going to say first assault and its implications and the demand for societal uniformity in the white race behind opposition at the tuscaloosa news beaver been sadder good was one of acceptance and opinion not shared by many others in the south or people in tuscaloosa this development is another in the chain of inevitable rulings which all that if a man is a citizen he has all the rights and privileges of every other citizen any
other theory just isn't consistent with our federal constitution i think europe for the city general feeling was we hope and we're going to learn more from people didn't really know that the truth in a way that could make it going to matter of fact ocean constitution to medical and what their idea of finding a way to comply with it was the lesser known it wasn't surprising that those editorial ignored local popular opinion a few years earlier whom startled many in town by openly fighting the growth of a local klux klan series exposed secret meetings and threatened to publish a list of planned members the klan paraded in front of the tuscaloosa news and protest the due primarily to booms editorials disappeared into the night at least for the time being in childhood and early career laden with influences which formed the basis of many it is an interesting one and
ninety nine changed everything grew up on a small farm near the internet worked the cotton fields alongside a family of black tom farmers tending most are college an ad in the student newspaper was fired by mark etheridge of the macon telegraph and to longtime friend during world war two a position in washington is a special agent with the fbi found himself among other things writing speeches for j edgar hoover after returning to the telegraph then was asked in nineteen forty seven to run the paper's newest acquisition the tuscaloosa news despite having powerful mentors would soon be on his own maneuvering in uncharted waters many southern voters ignored the implications of the brown decision their communities would not be affected for years was not afford that luxury surprisingly little primer
as america really require american civic leaders as good as you can climb the risk always controversial warlord good by nineteen fifty five tuscaloosa was a growing town of over fifty thousand with a third of its population block a giant rubber plant lieberman or another manufacturing companies made an industrial center in contrast somewhat isolated within the community was the martian charming campus of the university of alabama with more than eight thousand students faculty and administrators the university's board of trustees had been determined to prevent the integration of their campus but after years of stalling tactics and other efforts to sabotage the admission blocks university was the first educational institution order to desegregate under the brown decree at twenty six year old offering losing local farm and windowed county alabama at first applied for admission three years before instead of the brown decision and flight river in dublin's
city attorneys including thurgood marshall and arthur shores was he showed up to register for the spring semester there were first nineteen fifty six arrival didn't go unnoticed a mirror tabloid thin sheet and know i have to go through the student learns that then they my whole way easier than you know students had to go and they were students themselves resentment that close to the city folks don't like home being escorted through his gun i was apprehensive it you know what would happen if there's no way for me to know that at that that i didn't have the right to feel for my life because i thought i had the law on the side on friday lucy attended her first day of classes there were no major incidents although the klan made symbolic bret boone asked for calm and reasoned but for the next two nights crowds of students gathered on campus in march downtown salt to keep them up white and
saturday night games turn one report said it was a mob swelled by townspeople factory workers malcontents in a few town drunks leonard wilson the pre law student climbed a flagpole and encourage demonstrators to gather in front of smoke hall monday morning when lucy would be back on campus blacks and several cars found themselves in the middle of the demonstrators a greyhound bus had stopped at the reply right next to what used to be the student union building and they looked up and saw some black people on the back of a greyhound bus and they were rocking the greyhound bus from sad just sad so that the wheels on ones that will come out and the people on the other side were pushing it back no one was hurt but the mob activities attracted national media coverage he arrested president oliver carmichael and his staff that sunday morning they are dirty tuscaloosa policeman and receive authorization from governor falls and use thirty state troopers but they
planned without the benefit of precedents it was after all the first time a university campus had faced the prospect of a race riot why there the crowd was much different on monday outsiders have invaded the campus spotted in the mob was dynamite bob chambliss seven years later he would set the bomb that killed four young girls at the sixteenth street baptist church in birmingham when our brain loses showed up for class it's nepal only fourteen officers were there for her protection the rest were laden rioting president carmichael encourage the crowd to disperse as the situation worsened episcopal chaplain in the grid and circulated among the crowd urging people to go home some listeners of the grade and they said
no we got to become about this in us databases don't get excited and but you know other people who are going to have different things and some of the people who have identified as klan members rivera and educating influence as lucy let's note paul sheehan or university us courts were killed and gravel and eggs she was driven across campus to her next class in the education library where the group was chased into the building by what was now and dangerous mobs as we sat there the crowd shouted hey hey whoa way and that they're worried that the naked go hey hey whoa what about the ring after being trapped for some three hours lucy was rushed out the back of the library lying face down in the backseat of a police car she was spared from the campus that night students an outsider so far predators await
confederate flags and when ms carmichael appear on the ballot and the president mentioned she was at first is finally fired tear gas to break a crime meanwhile president carmichael and the university board of trustees were meeting at the mclester hotel in downtown tuscaloosa they unanimously agreed to suspend artillery loosely from the university of alabama for her own safety for the first time in america court ordered desegregation had been successfully resisted ever been sitting in his office a few blocks from the class stir went to his typewriter his editorial on a price for peace which he'd been sworn in praise on its offer when moms start imposing their friends it will on universities we have a bad situation but that is what has happened at the university of alabama the target was offering lucy are crimes she was born black and she was moving against southern tradition but we'll all right on up to the us supreme court on her side
what does it mean to day at the university of alabama and here in tuscaloosa to have the law on your side the answer has to be nothing that is if the mob disagrees with you in the courts as matters now stand university administration and trustees have not sold under to the pressures and desires of a mob what has happened here is far more important than whether negro girl was admitted to the university we have a breakdown of law and order and abject surrender to what is expedient rather than a courageous stand for what is right yes there's peace on the university campus this morning what water pressure has been paid for it does not go on now for a lot of people look back and and then put it in the in the context potential
violent and this weapon of motions existed and he had very strong convictions and he had the courage to just take the hours and in utero press room in they cut the first copy of the paper that came off with a set of parliament was blown i asked him was to try to put me out of business again and he says it's necessary yes but he meant we must obey the law we have sort of the consequence was a few years ago when the eye of the storm it all in the center of the storm not uncommon for instance of wars speaking with more courage georgia lawmaker a local attorney and businessman felt the strongest part of the editorial was the stinging criticism of the university trustees who are prominent representatives from across the spectrum save the bees are
going to get rid of the mob of molten and gotten up quite either a thorough as it did not order price for page and i think he's right that they had too much of a loss or respect the people who rule were looking to improve nutrition then senatorial was widely discussed he had crossed a line by criticizing the popular belief among many in alabama that day were above the supreme court ruling then it also upset many of the local citizens including friends and neighbors he would now where the label and a gracious it despite some merchants pulling ads and phone calls canceling subscriptions circulation of the tuscaloosa news jumped by two thousand after the lucy incident
coupled with general coverage of the desegregation attempt those criticism of the universe that was printed in papers from london to again he was asked right a front page editorial for the new york herald tribune and did so with the knowledge that many white alabama and considered such a yankee papers communist propaganda gradual change has been taking place but sometimes when the change can be made in a slow step that has to be a drop that is what has happened here when offering lucy took to jump all hell broke loose most of the jobs will come for a period of years only as a result of a court order the south it appears is going to lose this one too is of ours the rest of the world is concerned it was your patient understanding and your prayers otherwise leave us alone leave us alone the line reflects booms passionate commitment to his region like editor's hodding carter jr mississippi and mark etheridge in kentucky they need help more than pressure on the self to desegregate quickly would only
result and stiffer southern resistance and more violence after being targeted by the ku klux klan bomb had a shotgun at the ready by the front door of his modest tuscaloosa home late night calls were filled with taunts and threats one night the bridge crashed through the living room windows but no one was hurt as the abuse continued doonan his family became extra cautious meanwhile every lucy showing our own quiet strength in courage refused to condemn the students at the university for the mob violence i mean i know that when the athlete we're not out that and i don't know that we could work out a return to a hint but a favorable solution was not forthcoming by the end of the month lucy was expelled permanently by the trustees after her attorneys charge that the university had conspired with the mob to prevent her admission even those in the black community of tuscaloosa greeted the
news with a great sense of relief no one had been killed or seriously injured despite amount that incredible tension i told myself that even a bad bad bank how could ask it and said that was being you know could i really could out of them and the things that will probably happen there perhaps alabama was not ready to receive the nba in which you have to realize is that we just kept out in a situation where i guess more than likely they may prefer that someone else could complete the task rather than the one who makes the first move in the two weeks after lose his expulsion the white citizens council had enrolled forty thousand new members in alabama tuscaloosa's version of the segregationist council attracted over a thousand members in a front page picture in the new york times magazine the council was chaired by twenty year old leonard wilson who had been expelled for inciting them off
during the lucy integration attempt iraqi and was asked to speak to the council as a representative of the integration installment in town it promised to be such a dramatic moment that radio station wgbh see decided to broadcast the speech in a back room on the second for the tuscaloosa county courthouse bloom spoke to the raucous crowd eyad mm hmm the
iraq lebanon a lot of the background of the length of the state in may nineteen fifty seven word came to buford been had lived up to the village are ideal of courage and truth in the face of popular opinion he was awarded the sole pulitzer prize for editorial writing been played down the award locally and refused to be profiled in time magazine telling the reporter please be kind to me and forget that's
right among the letters of congratulation there was one then would never mentioned for fear of being further ostracized in his own community it read in part ever since i read your editorial or price for peace i have had an unspeakable admiration for you the moral courage and profound dignity you have advanced and so many situations will long be remembered to my mind there is nothing more majestic and sublime than the determined courage of one willing to sacrifice and even face abuse for the cause of freedom and truth it is my hope but many other persons in the white south will rise up and courageously give the type of leadership that you have given sincerely yours martin luther king jr president mcnairy improvement association given those nineteen fifty six editorial water price of this as a defining moment in his career as a newspaper later stand respond from the same basic philosophy
respectful more water parents to the supreme court rulings and southern acceptance of the hard for white citizens while the surprises that was known as one of the few moderate forces in the south but also assuredly would be shunned by many in tuscaloosa didn't take much still in nineteen fifty seven that many challenges the civil rights movement was in its infancy in for another decade long would write with a conviction you saw then journalists that state from the interactive alabama if you want to stand up with them or what was and that they allow them on a hot june day in nineteen sixty three seven years after luce's expulsion that in malone and james hood successfully integrated university of alabama they now live in the most vivid image of a peaceful vote was governor george
wallace's stand in the schoolhouse door i decided early on that was was more interested in short term political gain and what was best for alabama he often sharply criticized the powerful government condemnation of federal courts his frequent reference to the resistance and his general antagonism necessary change encouraged the violence and the laws who is the chief architect of an atmosphere that permitted and to some extent approved a record which is so familiar to today's bombings and its martyrs do not have to be detailed here by the nineteen sixties bands efforts to prevent the development of a local ku klux klan were people one of the largest klan organizations in the country was now based in tuscaloosa under the charge of grand dragon robert shelton in the region
the reader enjoys in the murder of the barrow wrote about until you to be shared know inferno of been a slow buildup for them despite the integration of the university campus jim crow laws were still ever present in tuscaloosa but in july nineteen sixty four the passage of the civil rights act the previously all white restaurants and movie theaters were integrated by test groups of blocks local whites led by shelton reacted violently forcibly throwing watch out the klan brenda moore got at local businesses who serve are employed blocks it reached the point where the business community's about to submit a very narrow for the current editor of the fall those
editorials rally the otherwise silent majority of whites against the average of the point robert shelton reacted by vowing to civil lawsuits reliable claiming one million dollars in damages in nineteen sixty eight a local jury found in favor of shelton an order going to play just five hundred dollars in damages been paid out the same day a few months later then returned from active discussion with the newspaper or turning it over to his son who had been running a paper in virginia but we realized later that all white people are not and luck and what those ethical rule was to unify those white people who were not willing to sit down and see the state but i'm trying as david tuscaloosa news is owned by the new
french regional newspapers and continues to say request of them for years at the first applying three lucy foster earned a masters degree from the university and graduate alongside her daughter in nineteen eighty after retiring different than took up all that some fishing and traveled with his wife frances he received numerous awards including an honorary doctorate in alabama on campus a scholarship program continues to provide funds promise in journalism students you've heard them died there were seven nineteen eighty three twenty seven years after the publication of his award winning editorial one price for tickets and on every day he always knew what was going on he did not really of animate really lived in the real world warts and all and he
didn't want to remove some of those warrants and a mandolin if you have a question or comment about this program or if you'd like to purchase a copy of it please write the alabama experience box eighty seven thousand tuscaloosa alabama three five for instance please include the word dude when he requested that we also call
one eight hundred and eighty three nine five to three three
The Alabama Experience
A Voice of Justice and Reason: Buford Boone's Tuscaloosa News
Producing Organization
University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
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Episode Description
In 1956, Buford Boone was the publisher of the Tuscaloosa News when Autherine Lucy Foster was admitted and then expelled from the University of Alabama. Foster was the first Africian American to be admitted to the university. However, due to protests by students, she was expelled for her own "safety." Boone wrote a piece called "What a Price for Peace" condeming the decision by the university. He later went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. The piece focuses on this story while also looking at Boone's career, civil rights, desegregation, and people's response to Boone's editorial.
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A series that focuses on bringing to life the inspiring stores and empowering characters that have helped form Alabama's past and are working to shape its future.
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Editor: Flora, Doris
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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Duration: 0:29:46
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Chicago: “The Alabama Experience; A Voice of Justice and Reason: Buford Boone's Tuscaloosa News,” 1994-03-03, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “The Alabama Experience; A Voice of Justice and Reason: Buford Boone's Tuscaloosa News.” 1994-03-03. University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: The Alabama Experience; A Voice of Justice and Reason: Buford Boone's Tuscaloosa News. Boston, MA: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from