Embrey Human Rights Program

Opening Doors: Integration Research Project

Researchers from the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program have spent several years compiling a database of the first African American undergraduate students to integrate major colleges and universities throughout the American South.

The research is intended to create a permanent record of the students who helped break this historic barrier. We want to recognize the vital contributions that these individuals made to the advancement of civil and human rights, and to embrace the legacy of hope that they helped establish.

Lists of schools and integrators are organized by state. To view the full list for a state, select the appropriate link in the sidebar of any page. To find a specific school or individual, use the search bar at the top of any page. Each entry includes three items: the name of the school, the name of the student, and the year of entry (if known).


We need your help to complete the database!

Our goal is to compile a comprehensive list of first integrators for every four year undergraduate institution in the former Confederate South. Please contact us if you can fill in missing details or correct an error. Information can be sent directly to Dr. Brad Klein, EHRP Associate Director, at kleinb@smu.edu. Please include documentation with your message, such news reports, book or article citations, an official university or college document, a letter from a university or college official, etc.