|Houston Informer, March 24, 1946. Used with permission of the Houston Informer
HOUSTON W. R. Banks, for 20 years principal of Prairie View University, expressed no surprise at the application of Heaman Sweatt for entrance to the University of Texas law school, according to an AP story.
Dr. Banks summed up the situation with quiet philosophic reflection, said that he had been expecting some move of this kind as a result of the long debate whether Negroes should have equal opportunities for education in Texas
"I believe the legislature should designate Prairie View as the university for Negroes as provided in the constitution and provide adequate funds for the development of Prairie View and make it possible for the Negro citizens to have the proper educational opportunities in all branches of learning.""If this is not done, the question will be coming up of another state institution for Negroes. Since the constitution provides for equal education for Negroes it is incumbent now upon the Texas legislature to set in motion plans to carry out this provision."
Efforts to contact Dr. Banks before press time were unavailing.
Dr. Banks told the Informer that a Negro University has not come into being. The change of the name of Prairie View did not make it a university. The Negroes of Texas can have a university, only under the provisions of Section 7, Article 7, of the state constitution which says that there must be a resolution by the legislature and a vote by the people of Texas.
He pointed out to the AP representative who interviewed him, he said, that the declaration that educational facilities should be separate but equal had not been complied with. The 95 per cent increase in the appropriation for the present biennium by no means made educational opportunities for Negroes equal to those for white people in either quantity or efficiency. Dr. Banks added that those people who were impressed by the appropriation for the present biennium for Prairie View would be surprised at the requested budget for the next biennium which is ready for submission to the bodies who must approve and make educational appropriations.