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Johnson / Attending Texas A&M University

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Interviewer: And I heard at one point you decided to get your master’s degree. Excuse me. Not your master’s but your education degree. Your doctorate in education. When did you decide to go get that? Johnson: I decided to do that when they opened up A&M. Interviewer: In 1963? Johnson: Yeah, I think the lawsuit was—yeah, probably in 1963, because it was 1964 before when I went out there and enrolled. Yeah, I had applied, like I said, in 1944 but it was 1964 before I could go out there and enroll. Interviewer: Twenty years later. Johnson: Twenty years later, almost to the day. Interesting experience. First place, if you know the tradition of A&M, it was all male. I think really the suit was about women entering and, of course, I considered it. I went in after they decided to admit women. It was an interesting story behind it, how I first got it. They had a new—A&M had a practice of sending announcements to the what we called Central Office of Bryan ISD. They had a new clerk in the office who sent me one of these notices announcing evening classes and I discovered that later they had a James A. Johnson at Stephen F. Austin, a white school. I think the clerk, mailing clerk inadvertently mailed me his notice announcement. I didn’t discover this until I was out there talking to what was to become my dean because he asked how did I and when I showed it to him we looked, and I saw it was not James E. It was James A. Johnson, his announcement. He had some concern about—initially they weren’t too concerned about blacks coming. They were more focused on this big change with women coming. Then when I got in the mix, it became a different story for those I touched, came in contact with and eventually had to work with.

Interview Interview with James E. Johnson
Subjects Education › Higher Education
Education › Education and Gender
Education › Education and Integration
Education › Education and Integration › Tokenism in School Integration
Court Cases › School Desegregation Cases
Historic Periods › Early 1960s [Exact Date Unknown]
Tags Texas A&M University
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Interview date 2015-07-21
Interview source CRBB Summer 2015
Interviewees Johnson, James E.
Interviewers Acuña-Gurrola, Moisés
Bynum, Katherine
Locations College Station, TX
Duration 00:03:36
Citation "Attending Texas A&M University ," from James E. Johnson oral history interview with Moisés Acuña-Gurrola and Katherine Bynum,  July 21, 2015, Prairie View, TX , Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed May 20, 2022