patterson hall column

Knowledge is Power Contents: Section 3

Chapter 18:
Education for Whites and Blacks

Assistance to Negroes. Specialist help. The segregated South. How much progress? The organization changes. The suit. Campus integration. Expansion at A&T.

From the very beginning Negro farmers were just as much interested in improving their farming operations as white farmers," I.O. Schaub wrote in 1953.1

As an administrator from 1925 to 1950, Schaub was responsible for and the witness to the development of a large and effective (but separate and unequal) extension program for blacks.

Assistance to Negroes

Schaub credited Seaman A. Knapp with recognizing "the need and opportunity to give special assistance to Negroes." In 1906 Knapp arranged with Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and Hampton Institute in Virginia to initiate work with black agents serving black farmers.2

The first black county agent in North Carolina was Neil Alexander Bailey. A native of Chatham County, Bailey had graduated from A&T State College with a B.S. Degree at the age of 50. He was hired November 1, 1910, and worked until December 31, 1915, in Guilford, Randolph, and Rockingham counties. Bailey had modest success. In his last year his 40 corn demonstrators averaged 38 bushels per acre — better than twice the county average.

By 1913 the number of black county agents had increased to five, and 10 years later the number had increased to 18.

The first black home agents were appointed in 1917-18. Using special war emergency funds, assistants were appointed for two months during the summer in 19 counties and two cities. Their main assignment was to show black housewives how to produce a garden and then to dry or can a portion of what they produced.

Home demonstration club work for blacks started in 1922 when six full-time black home economics agents were appointed.

J.D. Wray was appointed as a special worker for Negro boys' clubs in 1915 under the supervision of Boys' Agricultural Clubs Leader T.E. Browne. Wray was located at the Agricultural and Mechnical College, in Greensboro. In 1916-17, L.E. Hall was appointed as the first Negro district agent and located at Chadbourn. 1n 1922 he was transferred to Raleigh, and his office was located in the Arcade Building in downtown Raleigh. Miss Dazelle Foster (Lowe) was named the first supervisor of the Negro home agents in 1924-25 and was also located in Raleigh.

Hall remained in the supervisory post until 1929, when he was succeeded by John W. Mitchell, an agent in Columbus and Pasquotank counties. At that time the Negro supervisors were moved to the A&T College campus in Greensboro.

C.R. Hudson was placed in charge of Negro farm agents' work in 1922. A reason for Hudson's selection for this post has not been discovered, but there is considerable evidence that he carried out this assignment with success until his death in 1940.3 Hudson was succeeded by John W. Mitchell, whose title was Negro state agent.

Mitchell held this position only three years, moving to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington as a field agent for the federal extension office. He was succeeded as state agent by R.E. Jones, who had served as Negro 4-H club specialist since 1936. J.W. Jeffries, a district supervisor since 1940, was given a dual assignment as assistant Negro state agent and livestock specialist. He was succeeded as district agent by Otis Buffaloe. Jones was named assistant director of the Agricultural Extension Service in 1965, and on his retirement was succeeded by Daniel W. Godfrey.

The black county staff continued to increase. By 1943 there were 35 black farm agents and 25 home agents. In 1956 there was a total of :132 black county agricultural agents, county home economics agents, ld their assistants in 51 counties. When the extension civil rights suit (discussed later in this chapter) went to trial in 1981, the extension service employed a total of 1,554 full- and part-time people. Of that total, 333, or 21.4 percent, were black.

Specialist Help

B. W. Kilgore, the first extension director, stated that the white specialists were available to help the black county agents. However, I.O. Schaub said that although white specialists would attend conferences and meetings with blacks, from the standpoint of getting out and aiding the Negro agent with his problems, such a system was not entirely satisfactory.4

R.E. Jones recalled an incident when he was an agent in Craven County (from 1933 to 1936) that indicated a very good response from the specialist staff in Raleigh:

I was working with a farmer on truck crops. We got him to do a program on increased production of Irish potatoes. I ran into a problem on the amount of water and it really wasn't going off the way it should. So the farmer called me down there and I went out and looked at it. I told him, "I'll call the specialist at North Carolina State and see if I can get him down here." So I picked up the telephone and called the Horticulture Department. I don't remember the name right now of who was there but anyway the next day he came down and we rode out to the eastern end of Craven County. We walked over this farm and decided what we would do and the guy had a beautiful crop.5

Schaub also pointed out that during those earlier days there were few adequately trained blacks available for specialist work. A contributing factor was the necessity for a black to go to a school outside the South to obtain graduate training.

W.L. Kennedy, head of the Dairy Department at A&T State C:ollege, grew up in Oklahoma, obtained his undergraduate training at the University of Illinois, and received his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University. He was the second black to receive a doctorate in agriculture at Penn State, and at the time (1937) he was one of fewer than five blacks awarded doctorates in the field of agriculture in the United States.6

Even in the 1980s the number of blacks adequately trained to fill research and specialist positions in agriculture was limited. For the academic years 1975-76, 1976-77, and 1977 -78, blacks represented only 1.4 to 2.4 percent of the total recipients of master's degrees and from 1.2 to 2.1 percent of the doctorates in agriculture. A total of only 43 blacks received doctorates in agriculture in the United States during these three years; none was awarded in North Carolina.

Wilhelmina Laws was appointed home economics specialist in 1935 to work with the black home economics agents. She was located at A&T. Robert L. Wynn was hired in 1945 as the first full-time black agricultural extension specialist in North Carolina and, it is believed, as the first in the United States. As dairy farming advanced in the early 1940s, it was perceived that dairy cows on black farms could significantly contribute to both farm income and family health. Many families added a family milk cow, a large number with two or more cows produced manufacturing milk, and in about 1947 the first Grade A dairy farm run by a black farmer was established. Ten years later (1955) Wynn had been joined by black specialists in agronomy, horticulture, poultry, foods and nutrition, and clothing.

The Segregated South

There was never an exclusive arrangement of black working with black and white working with white — at either the specialist,-agent or agent-clientele level. From the beginning, white agents were expected to work with blacks in those counties without black agents, and black agents reported that their help was solicited by some whites.

When the first black farm and home demonstration agents were appointed, there were some references in the annual report to indicate that the blacks were under the supervision of the white agents. Apparently these working relationships were accepted if social situations that would put members of the two races together were avoided and if the white person filled the superior role in a relationship. There is some evidence that C.R. Hudson, as supervisor of the Negro work, was threatened by persons who objected to his sharing a platform with blacks at meetings.

One of the charges that would later be made by civil rights advocates was that black clientele had been denied equal services. Equal training and services were hard to deliver. W.L. Kennedy recalled that when artificial insemination for dairy cattle came along, black agents and technicians were prohibited by state law from attending the short courses held regularly at North Carolina State College. They had to go outside the South to obtain the necessary technical training to carry out this practice.

For a number of years both Farm and Home Week and a state 4-H short course were annually held for blacks on the A&T State College campus.

When the first statewide dairy conference was held in Raleigh in 1951, invitations were sent to all Grade A dairy farmers. Some time later it was discovered that the invitations had also gone to the 40 or so black Grade A dairy farmers. The invitations had clearly stated that the registration fee covered the cost of a luncheon.

Dairy specialist R.L. Wynn and black dairy farmers often attended meetings at various places where they were the only blacks in attendance. Previously they had followed custom and disappeared when there was a sit-down luncheon or dinner. They would find their own food and reappear after lunch if the program was being continued. On this occasion there was no convenient place for the black guests at the college to find their lunch and return in time to hear the luncheon speaker, who was a special feature of the conference program.

The luncheon was to be held in the college cafeteria. The cafeteria manager was not available, so D.W. Colvard, head of the Department of Animal Industry at the time, spoke with the assistant cafeteria manager about having the black guests served along with the others. Colvard recalled that the assistant manager said that he could not have the white waitresses serving the black men. Colvard suggested that he have some of the black men working in the kitchen serve them.

Although the assistant cafeteria manager never agreed to admit them, the conference arrangers made no effort to keep them out. When the door was opened and the guests entered, the blacks chose to sit together at one table. There was no incident and little attention was paid to this violation of established custom.

Extension directors I.O. Schaub, D.S. Weaver, R.W. Shoffner, and George Hyatt each had to face the problems of a segregated society; and each expended considerable effort to develop a viable extension program for blacks while state segregation laws were in effect and later to work toward integration of the extension service.

R. E. Jones declared in 1952:

The Extension administration in Raleigh has been forthright in understanding the importance of, and giving support to, the Negro Extension program. As a result, comparisons show that in many respects Negro Extension work in North Carolina is far ahead of that in other Southern states.7

Jones pointed out that North Carolina ranked first among the states in the number of black county employees and specialists, had the largest state extension staff of any state, was one of the first states to employ full-time black clerical employees, and was the only state where an office building had been constructed with state funds for use by black administrators and specialists. D.S. Coltrane Hall housed the black extension workers on the A&T State College campus. (At the time the building was constructed, Coltrane had served as assistant commissioner of agriculture and director of the state budget. Later he served as chairman of the Good Neighbor Council, which attempted to ease tensions between blacks and whites in North Carolina.)

Through the 1930s and 1940s, the annual statewide extension conference on the North Carolina State College campus was integrated, but the black agents roomed and ate at one of the black colleges or at other facilities available to them in Raleigh. Through the 1950s, however, separate state or district conferences for the two races were held.

At the 1962 statewide extension conference held in Asheville, arrangements were made to house and feed the black workers at the George Vanderbilt Hotel while the white workers resided at the Battery Park Hotel. The meetings were held in the nearby Municipal Auditorium.

Asheville was especially selected for this integrated meeting because it was felt the meeting would receive less attention and there would be less possibility of problems in the western end of the state. The meeting was conducted without incident, although several white agents refused to attend the integrated meeting and there was criticism in some places.

As meetings were integrated, one problem to be confronted was transporting the agents to the meetings. It was pointed out at the time that it was quite acceptable for a farmer to transport a black worker, in his work clothes, in the farmer's automobile around the farm or even into town. But the residents of the same community would not accept agents of the different races riding together to the same professional meeting in the same vehicle. For several years district agents were given the responsibility of devising transportation plans that would overcome the problem of racial mixing.

Through the years the personal biases of the white administrators surely affected their attitudes toward service to members of the Negro race. W.E. Colwell recalled Dean Schaub's influence in integrating one meeting.

I hit North Carolina as an assistant professor of agronomy in the fall of 1942 working on peanuts and was really quite naive as to the South and I didn't pretend to be otherwise. The first conference I ever had in Dean Schaub's office I was a very minor participant but I listened and didn't talk. The subject was whether or not for the forthcoming peanut field day at Rocky Mount we could have only one field day for the blacks and the whites instead of having two like they had had for years and years and years ....

Finally, Dean Schaub made the decision. He thought the time had come that at Rocky Mount on whatever day it was scheduled we would have only one field day and both blacks and whites at the peanut field day. The event took place with no problems whatsoever with a beautiful experiment and it worked. Isn't that something in the fall of '42!8

Schaub apparently followed the philosophy he espoused in the introduction of an extension publication in 1945.

Citizens of North Carolina, white and Negro, do not hesitate to point with pride to the progress being made by that great number of progressive Negro families who till the soil of their native state. The first Negro farm agent was appointed in 1910 and since that time there has been a steady advance in the number of farm and home agents until today there are 82 at work in those counties with the larger Negro populations. Not only are there Negro farm and home agents at work but every white agent and each Extension specialist considers it an everyday, normal part of his duty to work with the rural people of both races.9

William Reed, dean of the School of Agriculture at A&T State College from 1949 to 1961, said the good relationship between the two land-grant schools was one of the factors that helped him decide to come to North Carolina.

I remember very fondly the warm reception and support I received from Dean Hilton, Dr. Cummings, and Dean Schaub. Dean Schaub was a real inspiration to the Negro extension workers in developing a strong and effective program. He was an exceptionally fine director at the time that there was a lot of concern about the development of the Negro extension program and its reorganization in the South. Without a doubt, North Carolina had the best extension program in the South and the relationships between A&T and North Carolina State, I believe, were the best to be found anywhere.l0

The first research grant A&T State College personnel received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was to study the chemistry of bitterweed as it affected off-flavors in milk when consumed by the dairy cow. This grant came with the endorsement and urging by members of the Department of Animal Industry at North Carolina State College. Also, when Dean Reed was selected to visit the Soviet Union in 1955 as a member of an exchange delegation worked out by the two governments, the Agricultural Foundation provided travel funds.

Segregated eating and lodging facilities presented a special problem to black district supervisors and specialists who covered a large territory. Following the death of R.L. Wynn in 1982, Editor Tom Byrd remembered how a problem was handled after segregation had begun to break down:

Bob Wynn's death reminded me of how segregated North Carolina was in the not-so-distant past. Soon after I joined Extension, Bob invited me to take a trip with him. He wanted to show me some black farmers who, with Extension's help, had started producing manufacturing milk.

Since I was always looking for good feature stories, I eagerly accepted Bob's invitation. And a few days later, I set out on my first biracial trip. Our morning stops were in Union County. Our afternoon schedule called for us to be in Iredell.

As we were travelling between the two counties, Bob turned to me and said, "Tom, I guess you're wondering how we'll handle lunch." I admitted the thought had crossed my mind. "Find a place you want to eat," he said. "Stop and eat, and I'll wait in the car. I'll try to find a place where I can get something later on."

I drove on for several miles without responding, thinking all the time about the dumb situation we were in. Then I recalled a recent news story out of Charlotte. The downtown variety stores there had reluctantly agreed to desegregate their lunch counters after a long and bitter sit-in by blacks.

To make a long story short, Bob and I ate at Woolworth's. The waitress was as nice as she could be. (Y'all come back and all that stuff.) Several passersby gave us "ku-klux" eyes, probably thinking we had just arrived from New York to ferment more trouble.

Blacks who broke the color barrier at Woolworth's had hailed it as a great moral victory. Did it also occur to them, I wondered after lunch, that they had solved a very practical problem for whites and blacks who needed to work together?

How Much Progress?

What was then called Negro Extension work grew slowly at first. The greatest success was probably with the youth work, which had started in 1915 with the appointment of J.D. Wray. Within a few years a sizable number of black youngsters were participating in the corn and poultry clubs.

Twenty years later, in 1938, there were 397 organized Negro 4-H clubs with a membership of 12,791. By 1944 the number had jumped to 536 clubs and a membership of 28,861 — about one-third the total 4-H enrollment in the state. These black club members came from 20,187 families and reported 38,684 completed projects.

There were 2,017 enrolled in corn projects, 505 in peanuts, and 2,816 in pig projects. These boys and girls raised 197,442 chickens and turkeys in their poultry projects, and the 4-H girls canned 207,004 quarts of fruits and vegetables. The club members bought and sold $89,341 worth of war stamps and bonds and collected 500,264 pounds of scrap iron, 26,956 pounds of rubber, and 2,030 pounds of grease.

In 1982, of the approximately 100,000 4-H club members in the state, 37 percent were black. That same year, 46 percent of the 4-H camp participants and 28 percent of the volunteer leaders were black.

In 1944 there were 487 Negro home demonstration clubs with a membership of 12,952 persons in 39 counties. Club meeting demonstrations were given by 1,817 home demonstration project leaders that year.

In 1944 there were 7,017 trained black neighborhood leaders who voluntarily gave their time and ability to developing better agriculture in their locality, and to carrying information to families that the farm and home agents were unable to reach.

The black farmers were harder to reach with extension's message than were either their wives or their children. The tenure system was largely responsible. Of 76,850 black farmers in the state in 1930, only 19,711 were classified as owners. Some 34,805 were sharecroppers and 22,334 were classed as other Negro tenants. Tenants and share­croppers did not make many important farm decisions. The 1938 extension annual report did claim, however, that about half of the 38,000 black farmers in the counties where there were black agents were influenced by the extension program that year.

And the black farm audience was growing smaller. From 76,850 black farmers in the state in 1930, the number dropped to 60,239 in 1940. World War II and its attendant activities sped the exodus from the farm.

The Organization Changes

A 1956-57 study by an Agricultural Extension Service advisory committee found:

... the White County Agricultural Agent is responsible only for the agricultural extension program among the white population and has administrative responsibility only for his assistants in that work. The same is true of the White County Home Economics Agent within her field. In counties where Negro work is organized the Negro County Agricultural Agents and Home Economics Agents are organized and operate independently of each other and of the White Agents. Thus there are two independent organization units in 100 counties, and four in 51 counties.12

The 51 counties referred to were the 51 in which black agents were located. In those counties there were 49 black county agricultural agents, 23 black assistant county agricultural agents, 51 black county home economics agents, and 9 black assistant county home economics agents, along with 45 black clerical assistants.

The committee recommended that in all counties the work with the white population be unified under the white agricultural agent and a similar arrangement made for blacks. The term "chairman" was the one selected for the one or two administrative posts in each county.
In 1965, shortly after the effective date of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the white and Negro branches of the Agricultural Extension Service were merged into a single organization with its headquarters in Raleigh. The six white and three Negro geographic districts were eliminated and six new geographic districts were created, with the white men retaining the top district administrative posts. The position of Negro state agent at A&T State College was eliminated; R.E. Jones became an assistant director but continued to maintain his office at A&T in Greensboro.

In the counties, the black agents were placed under the supervision of the white county extension chairman, and an effort was made to house all county employees together. Each agent, black and white, was given specific subject matter assignments and instructed to work with all clients, regardless of race or color.

The white male administrative arrangement at county and district levels was soon challenged. After several attempts by the extension administration to obtain acceptance of a black county extension chairman by county commissioners, Carl D. Hodges was appointed the first black chairman in Durham County on March 1, 1971. (The first female to be designated a county chairman was Mrs. Frances Voliva, in Tyrrell County in 1975.)

At the district level, John M. Spaulding was named the first black chairman in 1972. Mrs. Elizabeth U. Meldau was named the first female district chairman, named in 1975; and in 1977 Mrs. Josephine Patterson became the first black woman to serve as a district administrator.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 demanded the integration not only of the extension organizations but also of the services they offered. The extension service moved with some dispatch to insure that all programs were available to all people but was not able to warrant that club activities, such as extension homemaker and 4-H club activities conducted by volunteer leaders, often in homes, would be integrated.
The effort was not enough for some. In 1965 a general complaint filed against the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service by the North Carolina State Conference of NAACP Branches claimed racial discrimination by extension.

Nevertheless, in a 1972 report on Target 2, the 1967-1971 extension long-range plan, Director George Hyatt said it was with a great feeling of gratitude that the social changes brought about had not, except in a few isolated cases, become a major obstacle to moving towards the goals set in Target 2. The 1965 complaint set in motion numerous inspections throughout the five-year period by the Office of the Inspector General to determine and measure progress in the areas where racial discrimination was claimed. "The inspection showed that the vestiges of two organizations, which had operated in a somewhat parallel fashion for many years, were being carefully blended into one," Hyatt wrote.13

Hyatt did admit that working conditions had become strained and there was inner conflict. Perhaps he had in mind the civil rights suit brought against the extension service by 55 black county agents and 19 others in 1971.

The Suit

The suit alleged racial discrimination in employment and in the services provided. Specifically, all agents claimed discrimination in salaries, a sizable number claimed they had been denied appointment to chairmanships because of race; and in a few instances discrimination in job assignments and working conditions were alleged. The suit also charged a failure to provide minorities with services equal to those provided to white persons and a failure to maintain nonracially segregated 4-H and extension homemaker clubs.

Listed as defendants were William C. Friday, president of the university; the university Board of Governors; the chancellor of North Carolina State University; North Carolina State University; the School of Agriculture; the director of the Extension Service; and Alamance, Edgecombe, and Mecklenburg counties.

Originally the U.S. Department of Agriculture was one of the defendants in the suit. Later it entered the suit as a plaintiff­intervenor, and USDA lawyers vigorously participated in the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Ten years elapsed before the case finally went to trial in December, 1981. J.T. Dupree, Jr., United States District Judge, presided. On the delay,he wrote: "To some extent the inordinate delay between the filing date of the suit and trial is attributable to docket conditions in this court over the last ten years, but perhaps to a greater extent to the action (and sometimes inaction) of the parties in obtaining amendments to the pleadings, extensions of time and their intermittment assurances to the court that a settlement of all matters in controversy was probable." The trial lasted for approximately 10 weeks.

The action was instituted in the names of individual plaintiffs, but in addition to their individual complaints they alleged "across the board" discrimination and sought to have the action classified as a class action to cover all agents and all black clientele. The court denied all such motions.

In rendering his judgment on the class-wide claims, issued August 20, 1982, judge Dupree concluded that the plaintiffs had not established their case:

In summary the court has found that while there was ample evidence of disparate treatment of blacks by the Extension Service prior to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, since that time this defendant has made conscientious and successful efforts to eradicate the effects of past discrimination; that it has at no time engaged in purposeful discrimination; and that plaintiffs have fallen far short of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant has engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination. So long as its present policies are maintained and put into practice the Extension Service should be allowed to continue the great work in which it is engaged without interference from the courts.14

On September 17,1982, judge Dupree handed down his findings on the specific complaints of each individual plaintiff.15 He concluded that each complaint was "wanting in merit sufficient to support a recovery in each instance." While several of the plaintiffs had retired during the 10 years since the suit was first filed, the majority of them were still employed with the extension service. They were "doing good work and (they) seem happy in their employment," Judge Dupree wrote.

He commended the Agricultural Extension Service on its efforts, writing that "the system is being administered by true professionals whose sole objective is the delivery of the highest quality of services to the people of North Carolina — an objective shared by the true professionals, including the plaintiffs in this action, who constitute the work force necessary to the accomplishment of Extension Service aims."*

Campus Integration

While the merits of this 1971 suit were being debated, the School of Agricultrue and Life Sciences was struggling, along with all other campuses and branches of the University of North Carolina, with the problem of integrating the student and professorial ranks.

In 1970 the federal government issued desegration guidelines to the university. After much discussion, the government in 1979 threatened to deny federal funds to the University of North Carolina System after rejecting the university's desegregation plan. That same year the university system filed suit to prevent the cutoff of funds. Administrative hearings on the issue began that year and continued for two years.

In July, 1981, a consent decree set enrollment goals for fall 1986 of 10.6 percent black students at the university system's predominantly white schools and 15 percent white students at its predominantly black campuses.

Along with special scholarships and special programs, a variety of activities were carried out to entice black students to study agriculture. Under the leadership of Associate Director H.B. Craig, special attention was given to six counties northward from Raleigh, including visits to the homes of potential students. Undergraduate black enrollment in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences increased from 65 (2.5 percent) in 1977 to 139 (5.3 percent) in 1982. This percentage compared with a 7.9 percent black enrollment for the entire NCSU campus in 1982.

At the graduate level, black enrollment in the school had risen from 11 (1.5 percent) in 1977 to 29 (4.1 percent) in 1982. Campus-wide enrollment was 5.0 percent black in 1982.

For the school's faculty, of a total of 427 positions during 1982-83, 9 were filled by blacks. The 1986 affirmative action goal for the school was 12 faculty positions filled by blacks.

In establishing affirmative action goals, the small number of blacks obtaining master's degrees and doctorates in the several agricultural sciences was recognized.

Expansion at A&T

As integration, rather than segregation, became the law of the land, an important question for university and school officials was how the two schools of agriculture in the state could best serve the North Carolina agricultural industry.

Beginning in 1970 a series of meetings was held, attended by the chancellor, the dean of agriculture, and other agricultural administrators from the schools of agriculture at North Carolina State and A&T State universities. The meetings alternated from campus to campus. In addition to determining policy matters, new developments on each campus were viewed. Adjunct professors were appointed from the A&T campus to the NCSU campus.

The most noticeable result of these intercampus activities was in the area of food science. In the absence of a food science program on the A&T campus, the Food Science Department at NCSU in 1974 initiated a joint program between the two schools. Under the arrangement, A&T students would spend from one to two years on the NCSU campus where they would enroll in some 26 hours of food science courses. Upon completion of the program, the student could graduate from either or both institutions. By the end of 1983, 9 students had participated in the program.16

An increase in the extension component housed on the A&T campus began in 1972, following the allocation by Congress of $8 million for research and $4 million for extension work at the 16 predominently black (1890) land-grant colleges and Tuskegee Institute. R.E. Jones, placed in charge of the expanded effort, said the money would be used "to expand the depth of Extension work in North Carolina."17 We are trying to use our expertise and experience to develop an Extension dimension around the resources of A & T that will permit us to work more closely with people who have limited incomes and limited opportunities," Jones explained. He said particular empha­sis would be placed on reaching urban residents.

NCSU Chancellor John T. Caldwell saw both campuses joined in one program with a common goal — to alleviate social and economic problems through education.18 A&T Chancellor L.C. Dowdy also visualized the same goals being pursued, with activities at the two institutions not a duplication but an extension of the same program.19

The Food and Agricultural Act of 1977, however, somewhat redirected the extension program. The 1972 legislation had brought increased funding but no changes in the administrative structure — the funds for the 1890 land­grant schools were still channeled through the state extension administrative offices at the 1862 institutions. Under the 1977 legislation, however, the annual extension appropriation was to be made directly to the 1890 institutions. This legislation seemed to create two separate administrative structures in the affected states, and was so interpreted by some USDA officials.20

While the legislation was being considered by Congress, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland stated that the provisions for coordination of programs between the 1862 and 1890 institutions for each state were essential to ensure that the use of federal funds would result in a single program tailored to the needs of the people of the state rather than two separate programs with potential duplication or fragmentation of effort. He expected this to be done by "a reciprocal exchange of ideas between the institutions and by mutual agreement regarding the division of responsibilities and areas of active cooperation."21

Separate auditing, personnel, and editorial functions were established at A & T State University, but essentially both programs were directed by a joint administrative team. Using their prerogative under the provisions of the 1977 Act, the administrators at the A&T campus decided to focus on economically disadvantaged persons who had not been reached by traditional extension programs in four areas: (1) small and part-time farmers; (2) limited resource rural and urban families; (3) underprivileged rural and urban youth; and (4) community programs involving limited resource individuals and groups.

Under the 1972 act, research funds were channeled directly to the 1890 institutions. In an absence of any administrative obligations, Research Director K.R. Keller consulted frequently with the administrators of the research program at the A & T campus and urged NCSU researchers to work closely with their counterparts in the expanding A & T research program. Several joint projects were developed.

The ability of the two institutions to work together undoubtedly was based in part on a history of cooperation and mutual respect going back to 1910.


  1. Schaub, I.O. Agricultural Extension Work: A Brief History. N.C. Agricultural Extension Service, Circular No. 377, 1953, p. 31.
  2. Ibid.
  3. See extension annual narrative reports and Hudson personal papers in N.C. State University Archives.
  4. Schaub, op. cit.
  5. R.E. Jones interview, February 14, 1980.
  6. W.L. Kennedy interview, November 12, 1980.
  7. "Extension Helps Negro Farm Families Move Forward," Extension Farm-News, February 1952, pp. 4-5.
  8. W.E. Colwell interview, October 29, 1979.
  9. The Negro Farm Family Moves Ahead, N.C. Agricultural Extension Service, Circular No. 281, 1945, 16 pp.
  10. William Reed interview, February 14, 1980.
  11. Extension News, May 1982, p. 3.
  12. Extension Service Advisory Committee. A Report on the Programs, Organization, Management of the Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. Agricultural Extension Service, 1957, pp. 56-58.
  13. Extension News, April 1972, p. 1.
  14. Opinion of August 20, 1982, Civil Suit No. 2879, Bazemore, et al., v Friday, et al., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Raleigh Division, 1982.
  15. Opinion of September 17,1982, op. cit.
  16. "Food Science Develops Joint Program with A & T," 1974 School of Agriculture annual report, p. 14.
  17. "Extension Developing New Dimension at A & T," Extension News, March 1972, pp. 1,3.
  18. Caldwell, John T. "Joined in One Program," Extension News, April 1973, p. 4.
  19. Dowdy, L.C. "Fighting the Same Enemies," Extension News, April 1973, p.5
  20. Evaluation of Economic and Social Consequences of Cooperative Extension Programs, Science and Education Administration — Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1980, pp. 23-25.
  21. Letter from Bob Bergland to Thomas S. Foley, U.S. House of Representatives, July 14,1977.

* "The decision was not acceptable to the plaintiffs and they appealed Judge Dupree's ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1984 the appeals court upheld Dupree's ruling. The lower courts said blacks could not sue to counter the effects of discriminatory differences in salaries that existed before the 1964 civil rights law was applied to public employers in 1972. The plaintiffs still did not give up. They carried their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. On July 1, 1986, the high court unanimously ruled that the extension service had discriminated against black employees.

Justice William J. Brennan Jr., in the opinion issued Tuesday, said the lower courts had been wrong:

"Each week's paycheck that delivers less to a black than to a similarly situated white is a wrong actionable under (the federal civil rights laws) regardless of the fact that this pattern was begun prior to the effective date of the law." Brennan wrote.

"That the extension service discriminated with respect to salaries prior to the time it was covered by (the law) does not excuse perpetuating that discrimination after the extension service became covered," he said. "To hold otherwise would have the effect of exempting from liability those employers who were historically the greatest offenders of the rights of blacks."

In a split 5-4 decision, the court said the continued existence of single-race clubs (4-H and extension homemaker) was not the result of any official policy and therefore not unlawful.

The court also accepted the plaintiffs' request to make the suit a class action, meaning that the decision would apply to all black employees who could demonstrate they were discriminated against. It appeared that cash awards to the plaintiffs would be decided in a lower-court trial, unless an out-of-court settlement could be reached. (Tom Mather, "High Court says N. C. extension service discriminated against black employees," The News and Observer, July 2,1986, pp. 1, 8.)

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences teaching, research, extension