Vivian Malone Jones may not hold the sway of other civil rights figures who fought against Jim Crow laws in the Deep South, but her legacy as one of the vital cogs of the movement remains intact.
In 1963, Malone Jones made headlines as one of the University of Alabama’s first two African-American students during the infamous “Stand In The Schoolhouse Door” event. On this day in 1965, she would triumph as the first Black person to graduate from the formerly segregated university.
Malone Jones was an exceptional high school student who learned that the University of Alabama’s southern branch in Mobile, the University of South Alabama, was going to desegregate.
Malone Jones and several other Black students had their applications rejected because of “class size” and “enrollment” but it was long alleged that race was the main barrier. Malone Jones ultimately earned her Bachelor’s degree from Alabama A&M, a historically…
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