Integration with "Dignity"
Integration with “Dignity” and the Significance of Desegregation at Clemson College
The phrase “integration with dignity” first surfaced in the Saturday Evening Post in an article written by George McMillan, which outlined the story of how Clemson College was able to admit Harvey Gantt with little to no harassment, violence, or commotion. The story made headlines and Clemson was seen as the perfect example of peaceful integration at the college level. Desegregation and integration at Clemson was not an easy road for anyone involved. For Harvey Gantt, it was a sign of courage for him to be the first African American to integrate into a South Carolina university. While there were not many advocates for the integration of Black students into Clemson College, that did not stop numerous Black students from applying to Clemson, in hopes of continuing Gantts legacy.
The desegregation and integration of Clemson College is significant for multiple reasons. The first being that it was the first college in South Carolina to desegregate, which made it easier for Black students to apply to and be admitted to other universities in South Carolina. And Second, the peaceful integration of Harvey Gantt and multiple other black students at Clemson shined a light of hope for Black students and colleges, that there doesn’t have to be any kind of violence for integration and desegregation.