Fifty years ago, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes endured quizzical stares as they registered for classes at the University of Georgia. America’s history of racism and segregation made the two freshmen students – UGA’s first Black enrollees – history makers in the nation’s Civil Rights Movement. Graduate student Mary Frances Early, who registered for classes several months after Hunter-Gault and Holmes, also made her mark as the first African-American graduate student at UGA.

In honor of UGA’s desegregation, the school will host a series of celebratory and educational events through Feb. 28 with the theme “Celebrating Courage.” According to school officials, the events honor “not only…the pioneering students who broke the color barrier, but of those who supported them and those who came after.”

The opening week of anniversary events brings back to campus some of the key figures from 50 years ago. Hunter-Gault, a journalist and NPR foreign correspondent, led a lecture at the school on Jan. 10 that was shared online via a live feed.

Experience the drama at the University of Georgia 50 years ago – Click and read this original article in the AFRO Black History Archives