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Rosa Freeman Keller interview
Keller, Rosa Freeman
Rogers, Kim Lacy
Rosa Keller begins by overviewing her work toward the desegregation of Tulane University, "about the last thing that had to be done." She describes how Tulane's persistence as a segregated campus hampered the growth of the university, and how she decided that litigation was the most expedient solution. She describes a meeting she attended with A. P. Tureaud and others, though Tureaud backed out due to his over involvement in desegregation of public schools. She then explains how Jack Nelson became involved in the case. Keller explains how she went to the head of the Tulane trustees, Joe Jones, who privately agreed that desegregation was the right path for Tulane, but that Jones himself could not compel his own board to act. Keller explains how this issue caused several faculty members to leave the school and caused "restlessness" among faculty and students. Also at issue was the possibility of Tulane losing all federal funds for departmental and programmatic support. She describes the intense public animosity directed at Judge Skelly Wright, which she attributes to his eventual move away from New Orleans; she notes that both Wright's wife and son, particularly at Country Day School, faced intense public scrutiny. Keller relates this to the own social stigma she faced for her own activism, describing herself as "upper crust" and "blue bloody" and fully established among the Carnival elite.
Amistad Research Center
Box 6, Item 8, Side 2, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright laws.