Walter Nathaniel Ridley (third from left)  graduating in 1953. He was the first black student to receive a doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.

Walter Nathaniel Ridley (third from left) graduating in 1953. He was the first black student to receive a doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson as an elite institution for the south’s wealthy white elite, but Brown v. Board of Education forced it to open its doors to African American students in the 1950s. A new book, The Key to the Door, tells the stories of some of the school’s first African American students, documents their struggles and achievements, and discusses their impact on the generations of Black students and faculty that followed in their footsteps.

Guests

  • Maurice Apprey Co-editor of The Key to the Door: Experiences of Early African American Students at the University of Virginia; psychoanalyst and expert on conflict resolution; Dean of the Office of African-American Affairs at University of Virginia.

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