Knoxville in Knox County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Desegregation of the University of Tennessee
During a federal lawsuit in 1952, the University of Tennessee opened enrollment in the graduate and law programs of the institution to African Americans. Gene Mitchell Gray enrolled in graduate school, and Lincoln Blakeney enrolled in the College of Law. Facing a legal challenge from African American applicant Theotis Robinson, Jr. to segregation in undergraduate programs, the Board of Trustees opened enrollment in all programs of the university to all races on November 18, 1960. African Americans Charles Edgar Blair, Willie Mae Gillespie, and Theotis Robinson, Jr. enrolled as undergraduates on January 4, 1961.
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 1E 117.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 35° 57.428′ N, 83° 55.598′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker is on Circle Drive 0.1 miles south of Cumberland Avenue (U.S. 70), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Land Grant University (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Byington (about 600 feet away); James Rufus Agee (about 600 feet away); General Clifton Bledsoe Cates (about 700 feet away); Fort Sanders (approx. 0.2 miles away); Neyland Stadium (approx. 0.3 miles away); From Scuffletown to Sunsphere (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mecklenburg Place (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
Also see . . . UTK Celebrates 50 Years of Undergraduate Desegregation. (Submitted on June 6, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • Education •
More. Search the internet for Desegregation of the University of Tennessee.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2020. This page originally submitted on June 6, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 120 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 6, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.