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SIU’s first black graduates reflect on their experiences

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From the Southern Illinoisan, this article features SIU alumni Norma Ewing, Harvey Welch and Harold Bardo:

Historic moments don’t always feel historic in the moment — three of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s first black graduates are quick to point that out.

“I thought of it in terms of a way to get an education and to elevate my life and the life of my family,” Harvey Welch said of his time at SIU — he came to the university in 1951 on a basketball scholarship and became the first black student at the university to letter in basketball. This was three years before the U.S. Supreme Court made its historic ruling in May 1954 that it was unconstitutional to segregate schools. …


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