|©1947, Austin American,
March 18, 1947. Reprinted with permission of The
Austin American Statesman
Possible Damage to Sweatt Case Advanced as One Reason for "Empty" Negro Law School
By Margaret Mayer (the Austin American Capitol Staff)
The State is ready to spend $3,-250,000 on a university for Negroes, on its first venture into the field of professional education for the colored race, it has had no "takers." Why?
The law establishing the Texas State University for Negroes was rushed through the Legislature to aid defense of the State segregation laws. The same reason is advanced to explain why Negroes are not enrolling in the emergency law school put in operation by the University of Texas.
The United States Supreme Court has upheld segregation laws where the state offers within its boundaries equal educational opportunities for Negroes. The Texas law is being contested by a Negro mail carrier, Heman Marion Sweatt of Houston. He will present his plea for admittance to the University Law School before the Third Court of Civil Appeals March 27.
Should his racial colleagues accept the training offered them in the separate school, they may hurt Sweatt's cause before it reaches the high court. That is one theory to explain the empty classroom at 104 East 13th Street.
Kenneth Lamkin, Austin Negro attorney for Sweatt, stated he believed enrollments would not hurt the cause as the Houston Negro is seeking an "individual right" guaranteed him under the fourteenth amendment.
Joseph J. Rhoads, president of Bishop College at Marshall and of the Texas Council of Negro Organizations, has stated that his group will "have no part" of the new university, that admittance to the University of Texas is the only solution to the problem of equal educational opportunities. Rhoads heads the state's largest single Negro organization, embracing the Texas branch of the Association for Advancement of the Colored People.
Another theory to explain the lack of enrollments involves another law suit, Dr. Everett H. Givens' (Austin Negro dentist) suit to force establishment of a Negro university as a branch of the University of Texas.
The Givens case, pending hearing in the Third Court of Civil Ap-.(source is incomplete)