OUR VIEW: Though MSU may not have been on the right side of history, we are now.
Last week, a postmaster was sent out to announce the unveiling of a historical marker celebrating MSU’s desegregation. Formerly known as Midwestern University, our campus did not allow black students to enroll until Brown vs. Board of Education, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the desegregation of schools.
Willie Faye Battle graduated from Wichita Falls’ Booker T. Washington High School in 1950. She applied and was accepted to Midwestern University, but was turned away when she came to the campus – her application revoked. During the next year, five additional black students were denied acceptance. A complaint was filed in 1951 on behalf of those six students, but it wasn’t until 1954 that black students were accepted.
The wording on the actual sign is poorly-drafted. Though the sign itself sheds light on a more discriminatory time in MSU’s history, it brings even more attention to the message of diversity and inclusion that MSU celebrates today.
It’s important to acknowledge our history, both negative and positive, so that we never again refuse education to a willing and capable student.