Publication date for POINT OF RECKONING: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University is just a month away and we thought it was a good time to talk more about the story and ideas behind the book. We put together this Q&A with Ted Segal in the hope that it would spark further conversations…

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A B&W photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at a podium with a bright light shining just to the left of his face and a fern to the left of the podium.

In November 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at Duke University in Page Auditorium. His remarks captured the tenor of the civil rights protests in Durham and throughout the south. Acknowledging that lagging standards existed among Blacks in some areas, King argued that “economic deprivation and social isolation will breed crime and illiteracy in any…

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Since this past summer, historically white universities throughout the nation have sought to reckon with their long histories of anti-Black racism. At Duke, president Vincent Price committed to taking “transformative action now toward eliminating the systems of racism and inequality that have shaped the lived experiences of too many members of the Duke community.” Likewise…

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Wilhelmina Reuben, May Queen, 1967 (Duke University Archives)

On September 26, 2020, Duke University announced that the Sociology-Psychology Building on its West Campus was renamed the Wilhelmina Reuben-Cooke Building to recognize Reuben-Cooke’s role as one of the “First Five” Black undergraduates at Duke and her many contributions to the university. A fitting honor, this recognition recalls a different time at Duke, one when…

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The Caroline Times Header

On May 5, 1939, Louis E. Austin visited the Duke University campus. Austin, the publisher and editor of The Carolina Times, the leading Black newspaper in North Carolina, observed a school undergoing rapid transformation. Only 15 years had passed since the gift from James B. Duke that transformed Trinity College into a prominent southern university.…

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