Dr. Rufus E. Clement

Sunday, March 22, 1959

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Jay Nelson Tuck moderates.

Guest is Dr. Rufus E. Clement, President of Atlanta University, and the only Negro member of the Atlanta School Board. He discusses the school system in Atlanta, and school segregation.

Panelists include Bernie Lufkowitz, Chris McGrath, and Jerry Ferraro.

Clement speaks about the differences between white and negro schools in Atlanta. Though they are similar in terms of buildings and curriculum, the teachers at white schools are more schooled.

Atlanta University does not take all applicants, it is selective and produces successful teachers, social workers, and librarians, among other professional fields - the highest degree is the Masters degree. Placement for graduates from the university is very high.

Clement speaks about his election to the school board in Atlanta. He ran on his background as an educator, not on his race. He won 5-3 against a white man who ran on his race and his beliefs in segregation. He mentions that there is currently a case in court against the school board by the NAACP and parents of negro school children. Clement is a member of the NAACP.

He thinks the NAACP must pick his battles and admits he wouldn't want to attempt to integrate Mississippi.

Regarding the United Negro College Fund, he mentions that the "Negro" schools are in fact integrated. There is also one "white" school in Georgia that is integrated.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72101
Municipal archives id: LT8364


Rufus E. Clement, Jerry Ferraro, Bernie Lufkowitz, Chris McGrath and Jay Nelson Tuck


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This is not your run-of-the-mill 'student conference.'

"For the answers to these and other questions..." Each Campus Press Conference (1951-1962) begins with a slew of questions from the student editors of New York City college newspapers, delivered with the controlled seriousness of a teenager on the radio for the first time. Despite their endearing greenness, the student editors pose sharp inquiries to guests from the fields of science, finance, culture, and politics. 

With the country on the cusp of radical cultural and political change, these recordings offer insight to student empowerment movements, flower power, and hippie culture – a time when the youth of America began to realize their tremendous impact and ability to shape their futures. The passion and curiosity of young people is heard through interviews with elected and appointed officials and experts.

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