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Chasing the Dream Exploring Black History

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Author Myrlie Evers-Williams is a trailblazer as an activist for civil rights

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Black history offers armor for generations

Charlayne Hunter-Gault  

February 20, 2001
Web posted at: 7:32 PM EST (0032 GMT)

Student News Archive

When I was growing up in the segregated South, black history was a tool used to help create the suit of armor black children needed to survive and prosper. Little did I know that the everyday lessons I got -- like walking through the doors of a school named for a black historical figure -- would be so important. But they were. In a real sense, black history saved my life.

One could start anywhere, but I'll start with the elementary school I attended in Atlanta. It was named for the Rev. E. R. Carter, a prominent minister, author and what was then called a "race man,"-- one who unabashedly championed the cause of black people. You couldn't walk through the doors of E. R Carter Elementary School without being fed a steady diet of that history.

During his lifetime, Carter gave to black Atlantans the positive images of themselves that segregation tried to deny them. He wrote about Atlanta's "black side," where property ownership dated back to the turn of the nineteenth century, when Mary Combs sold her house and land to buy her husband out of slavery.

In the following gallery of excerpts from her book, "In My Place," CNN's Charlayne Hunter-Gault recalls her years in elementary and high school leading up to the historic battle she and a fellow student fought to gain entry to the University of Georgia.

Hunter-Gualt excerpts
from "In My Place"

Looking back

On integration anniversary, racial divide still troubles U. of Georgia
January 9, 2001
Segregation now? Some still see racial divide on campus
May 30, 2000
Enrollment of white students on rise at historically black colleges
May 18, 2000

CNN Anchors & Reporters: Charlayne Hunter-Gault
The University of Georgia

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