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between ‘50 and ‘54, when Brown came down, and ‘55, was a period of
stimulating, exciting, invigorating mixture of the academic and the
practical -- you know, the campus and the courts. It was one of
the most enjoyable periods of my life, and I thank the lawyers for
involving me, and I thank my colleagues for supporting me, and I thank
my wife and family for backing me. And finally, I thank the court for
making it all worthwhile.
Now, where are we?
First of all, relative to your colleagues, were they all white?
All white. At the time that I was invited to City College, I
think for the longest period -- there was a man in chemistry. I
think we went to City College at the same time. A black man. He was
an organic chemist, and I understand a very solid man. My wife and I
have been trying to remember his name. We knew him. We got to know
him and his family. It starts with a B, I think. I think he's still
there. I don't think he's retired yet. But we were the two token
blacks, in the democratic, municipal, public, tax-supported colleges of
New York City at the time. They'd had other blacks who were adjunct,
you know, or brought in to teach special courses in Negro history
or something like that. But I think that I was the first black who
had tenure, of the City Colleges, which is nothing for the colleges
or for me to be proud of. It's sort of silly.
No, all my colleagues were white -- but colorless, you know.
They were very sophisticated men and women, beyond -- as far as I
could see, and I had years and years of experience with these people;
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