Houston Informer, March 9, 1946.  Used with permission of the Houston Informer


Say Nothing Wrong in Having a Negro For a Classmate

HOUSTON – Law students of the University of Texas, queried on Heman Sweatt’s application for entry into the U.T. law school, say it is O.K. with them, according to a front page article carried in the March 3rd issue of the Daily Texan[,] official organ of the state school.

"The reaction among law students queried since the story of Sweatt’s attempt to register has been for the most part surprisingly favorable."

"A number of those asked stated that they could see nothing wrong with a Negro for a classmate," the Texan’s article asserted.

The article was carried under a double column head on the front page: "SWEATT WILL COME TO SCHOOL IF ATTORNEY GENERAL APPROVES."

The Texan article pointed out the fact that there are now about twelve Negro lawyers for the Texas Negro population of 900,000.

Sweatt, a devout young Christian, has maintained silence on his entry, but pamphlets and organs had carried reams of copy in connection with application for entry to the U.T. law school.

"All I can say is that I still want ONE SEAT in the university’s law school," he told the Informer Thursday.

The State Observer, a weekly tabloid published at Austin, carried the following in the March fourth issue:

"Texas’ miserable failure to educate all of its citizens has been a burden in the past, and is a growing menace in the present. Great numbers of Texas young men were rejected by the United States armed forces on account of their lack of education. Many more were rejected for physical and mental disabilities directly due to malnutrition or starvation. Both of these defects are largely chargeable to the lack of educational opportunities for Mexicans and Negroes."

In discussing this question, Gov. Arnall of Georgia said that it was "not a matter of social equality" but was a matter of "sound economy, common decency and justice" to help the Negro help himself. It was refreshing to hear a governor from "the Deep South" say what every intelligent person has known was true all along.

Other Comments

The Texas Spectator, another Austin tabloid, had this comment in the March 1st issue:

"It was a long time coming, but it looks as if the Texas Negroes have started to make their play for equal rights to higher education.

"Heman Marion Sweatt of Houston showed up at the University of Texas this week asking admittance to the School of Law. A committee of Negroes from several towns came with him.

"The registrar’s office and Acting President T. S. Painter told him they could not let him in the School of Law. Then they turned the matter over to Attorney General Grover Sellers and asked the proper credits to be admitted to the law school. The question has come up in other Southern States. Here and there it has been answered by letting learned law school or medical school professors ride a bus across town somewhere and hold special classes for the few Negroes who have the proper scholastic credits to receive such advanced instruction. That system is highly expensive.

"The question came up in Texas when Homer P. Rainey was fired as president of the University. Dr. Frank Strickland of the board of regents told a Senate investigating committee he thought Dr. Rainey had been too interested in interracial relations and in education for Negroes.

"Frank Dobie got involved in the same row."