The 50’s: Pioneers

The 1950s were a conservative period in our country. Southeast’s student population mirrored that of many other institutions across the country – all white. The Brown vs. Board of Education decision, provided the impetus that led to the admission of African-American students at Southeast. Students were primarily left to fend for themselves. There were no support systems for those early students; and little if any social interaction or participation in campus activities. Students were very isolated, and looked to the Black community of Cape Girardeau for emotional and social support. Those were difficult times for the African American student, yet they continued to enroll, persevere and some to graduate.

Helen Carter Photo

Helen Carter of Cape Girardeau, one of the first African American students at Southeast. She graduated with a degree in Education.

Roberta Slayton photo

Roberty Slayton, of Cape Girardeau, one of the first African American students at Southeast. She graduated with a degree in Education.

Contact

(573) 651-2524
equityissues@semo.edu
Academic Hall 010-011

Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity
One University Plaza, MS3375
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701