I read with interest the excerpt from One Town, Many Voices, recording the rocky road to racial integration. there are events preceding the 1960s that paved the way for integration, for which there are probably no records. I want to mention one of those events.
It was either 1949 or 1950 when the Davidson y.M.c.A. council invited a group of students from Johnson C. Smith to meet with us at the “Y.” As I recall there were perhaps a dozen who accepted our invitation. We had a lively and enlightening discussion. the Rev. William (Bill) Smith, our Y.M.C.A. secretary at the time, commented that to his knowledge this was the first integrated meeting on the Davidson campus. this was no big thing, even though it prompted plenty of comments throughout the college. Yet it was a beginning. I was a member of that council, along with Don Shriver, Irving Stubbs, Neil Leach, and others whose names have faded from my memory.
I think this minor bit of history should not be lost. those of us who promoted this meeting later struggled against segregation as Presbyterian ministers or public citizens.
Rev. Dr. William R. Klein ’51 Roanoke, Virginia