Jasper Paul Revere attended the University of Kansas from 1955 to 1959. He overcame many difficult situations to graduate with an engineering degree. Jasper talks about not giving up in this four- minute conversation.
The year 1955 was a challenging time for an African-American trying to attend a white university. In 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education decision. This ruling stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” and ended racial segregation of the public schools. Lawrence, Kansas is 27 miles from Topeka, Kansas.
Black Students helped each other!
Think about this fact for a minute; Governor George Wallace didn’t attempt to block black students Vivian Malone and James Hood from attending the University of Alabama until 1963! The only way to survive in an environment like that is to work together. Jasper joined a black fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha), which provide much-needed support. Here’s Jasper’s Video:
Let’s not forget that plenty of White people helped advance the cause of Black people. Jay Harold is grateful for their efforts and has reaped the benefits. Jay Harold finds it hard to believe that younger Black Americans don’t seek the wisdom and recognize the sacrifices of the first black students who integrated the white universities for us! Jasper talks about a poem that helped him through the hard times. “Invictus,” by William Ernest Henly. Here’s the poem:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Jay Harold tries to shed light on our unknown, recent heroes. To move forward, you have to learn from, and about the past.
Play the free “Slow Roll Through Civil Rights” Game found on the Jay Harold website. Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.