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Autherine Lucy

1929 - Present

Marengo County native Autherine Lucy was the first African American to enroll at the University of Alabama. Upon learning that Lucy was black, the university withdrew her admission. In 1956, following a lengthy legal challenge, Lucy was allowed to reenroll. Amidst several days of protests and rioting on campus, the university expelled Lucy, citing concern for her well-being. It would be another seven years before black students gained admission to the school. Thereafter, she became a popular speaker and civil rights advocate before relocating to Texas with her husband, a ministerial student. Returning to Alabama later in life, she earned a graduate degree from the University of Alabama in 1992. In 2019, the university awarded her with an honorary doctorate.

Read more on the Encyclopedia of Alabama


Alabama Department of Archives and History

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