Campus News Society & Culture

Experts available to offer commentary on the desegregation of the University of Georgia

The University of Georgia will mark the 50th anniversary of its desegregation with a series of events starting on Jan. 9-the date in 1961 when Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter (now Hunter-Gault) became the first African Americans to register for classes-and continuing for 50 days through Feb. 28, the end of Black History Month. The following faculty experts are available to discuss a wide range of issues related to the desegregation of UGA. Their contact information is included for your convenience. Please feel free to contact UGA News Service at 706/542-8083 or should you need additional assistance.

Maurice Daniels
Professor and Dean of the School of Social Work
Email:, Phone: 706/542-5424

Maurice C. Daniels is a professor in and dean of the University of Georgia School of Social Work, and the founder and director of The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies and Research. He is the author of Horace T. Ward: Desegregation of the University of Georgia, Civil Rights Advocacy, and Jurisprudence (CAU Press, 2001; Howard University Press, 2004). His interest in Horace T. Ward’s struggle for social justice grows out of his longstanding personal and professional commitment to civil rights issues and history. Horace T. Ward not only chronicles Ward’s struggle and achievements but contextualizes them within the history of desegregation and civil rights. In meticulous scholarly detail, Daniels recounts the formative role of the NAACP and the perseverance and courage of the African-American students and lawyers who challenged segregation. Daniels is the senior researcher and executive producer of three award-winning public television documentaries that chronicle Ward’s story, the history of the desegregation of the University of Georgia, and the legacy of Hamilton Earl Holmes.In 2010, Georgia Public Broadcasting aired Donald L. Hollowell: Foot Soldier for Equal Justice, a documentary film produced by Daniels and Derrick Alridge, director of the African American Studies Institute and a professor in the College of Education.

Robert A. Pratt
Professor of History
Email:, Phone: 706/542-6393

Robert A. Pratt is a history professor and author of We Shall Not be Moved (University of Georgia Press, 2002), a rigorously researched account of the tumultuous events surrounding UGA’s desegregation. Relying on archival materials and oral histories, he debunks myths about the landmark decision to admit black students to the university. Pratt’s articles and essays have appeared in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Rutgers Law Journal, The Georgia Journal of Southern Legal History, and other journals and magazines. He also is the author of The Color of Their Skin: Education and Race in Richmond, Virginia, 1954-89 (Virginia, 1992) which received an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights.

Thomas G. Dyer
University Professor Emeritus and Vice President for Instruction Emeritus
Email:, Phone: 706/542-1712

Thomas G. Dyer is University Professor Emeritus and Vice President for Instruction Emeritus. During his 31 years at the University of Georgia, Dyer distinguished himself as a consummate and nationally recognized scholar of both history and higher education. His primary interests are in the history of American higher education and southern history. Dyer is the author of The University of Georgia: A Bicentennial History 1785-1985 (University of Georgia Press, 1985), a richly varied account of people and events that shaped UGA. The book includes a 32-page chapter on the desegregation of the institution.

Additional UGA Resources:

50th Anniversary of Desegregation website:

UGA to mark 50th anniversary of desegregation in 2011 press release:

Foot Soldier Project:
The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, a documentary and research program at the University of Georgia, is dedicated to chronicling Georgia’s rich history in the civil rights movement. While Georgia is the home of numerous, nationally celebrated civil rights figures and events, many other Georgia trailblazers and significant events in the civil rights movement have been neglected or forgotten. The Foot Soldier Project focuses on these unsung foot soldiers, those individuals who, despite playing significant, powerful, and historic roles in the movement, remain largely obscure. Although the efforts of these civil rights figures have not been well documented or widely publicized, until the Foot Soldier Project, their courage and contributions have transformed the U.S.

Civil Rights Digital Library:
The Civil Rights Digital Library promotes an enhanced understanding of the Civil Rights Movement by helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale. The CRDL features a collection of unedited news film from the WSB (Atlanta) and WALB (Albany, Ga.) television archives held by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries. The CRDL provides educator resources and contextual materials, including Freedom on Film, relating instructive stories and discussion questions from the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia, and the New Georgia Encyclopedia, delivering engaging online articles and multimedia.