Houston Informer, March 5, 1946.  Used with the permission of the Houston Informer.

Committee Talks to Dr. Painter

[photo, with caption "Herman [sic] Sweatt"]

HOUSTON – Overshadowed by the furor created by the application of Heman Sweatt to enter the University of Texas, was a meeting of a committee from the Texas State NAACP with officials from the University of Texas, in which the committee made two recommendations. The complete divorce of Prairie View University from Texas A and M college and the development of a first class vocational and technical college at Prairie View; 2. Establishment of a graduate and professional school in a large urban center in Texas.

The committee had representation from NAACP branches in all major Texas cities and was headed by R.A. Hester, president of the Progressive Voters League of Texas. Members of the committee were: R.A. Hester, Dallas, chairman; Misses Euretta K. Fairchild and Artemisia Bowden of San Antonio; Mrs. Lula White and James H. Jemison, and C. F. Richardson, Jr., Houston; Rev. E.J. Wilson, San Antonio; Rev. C.D. Knight and B.E. Howell, Dallas.

University of Texas officials who met the committee were: president T.S. Painter, vice president; J. C. Dolley, registrar; E.J. Matthews, and Scott Paines, attorney for the board of regents on land matters, wanted to know what has been done in regard to point 12, section C of the twelve point program President Painter had outlined to the press January 20, 1946. This point called for the appointment of a committee of six persons to make a study of the possibilities for graduate and professional education for Negroes in Texas.

President Painter admitted that practically nothing had been done and invited suggestions from the committee as to the needs and the more practical and realistic means to achieve them.

Mr. Hester said, "we are not here to discuss or try to solve the race problem. The Negro citizens of Texas are seriously interested and concerned about provisions for them in the graduate and professional schools. We want to know what the committee has done? What is available now. Not tomorrow, next week or next month. We need training for our returning GIs and our children, who must compete with other in their own state for jobs with inferior education. The present state aid is not only inadequate but unsatisfactory. Not only are the students penalized because it costs them more to live in other sections, but most of those who go away to study at the state of Texas’ expense in more liberal sections decide to stay there and Texas Negroes do not get the advantage of their training."

Hester continued, "We know of the change in the name of Prairie View from a college to a university. But al of that is a long range program, which at the present rate of progress will take years to be completed. We want to know what the state can offer Negroes now in the various fields of higher graduate and professional study?"

Painter replied that he was sympathetic to the problem involved. He said nothing was available except the out-of-state scholarships. He stated, "I think that the constitution does provide for the establishment for a university for Texas Negroes. I, personally, believe something can be worked out. I have talked to several legislators and found them willing and in agreement with me in a program with enlarged facilities. In this connection I believe that Prairie View’s appropriation is larger for the next two years than it has ever been."

He then asked for suggestions to carry back to the committee that he had named to work on or study the problem. He asked and wrote down the names of the colored committee and stated that he wanted them to name a smaller committee to meet with the University of Texas committee.