Centre Forbidden to Admit Africans: Keller Says Day Law Prohibits Enrollment of Nigerian Students, The Courier Journal, October 6, 1948

Title

Centre Forbidden to Admit Africans: Keller Says Day Law Prohibits Enrollment of Nigerian Students, The Courier Journal, October 6, 1948

Date Created

1948-10-06

Subject

Day Law
College Integration

Identifier

CC_2_3_A_Box2_059

Text

Centre Forbidden
To Admit Africans

Keller Says Day Law Prohibits
Enrollment of Nigerian Students

By the Associated Press.

Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 6.—Assistant Attorney General W. Owen Keller said late today Centre College could not legally admit natives of Nigeria, West Africa. He explained that Kentucky law, upheld by the Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court, forbids
Negroes and whites to attend school together.
The opinion went to Earl C. Davis, director of admissions at the Presbyterian institution at Danville. Davis wrote that the college had received applications from natives of Nigeria. Davis asked if Kentucky law excluded “these natives of a foreign state from admission to Centre or to any other privately owned college in Kentucky because of his color.”

Law Enacted In 1904.

Davis said yesterday that Centre—operated jointly by the Northern and Southern Presbyterian Churches—has students from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Iran, Greece, and a displaced person from the Russian Ukraine. He added that the college would admit the Nigerians if it could do so legally.
At Danville tonight Davis said the school was interested only in the information from the attorney general’s office and did not plan any further action in
the matter. “We just wanted the opinion,” he said.
The State law requiring separation of the races, commonly known as the Day Act, was enacted in 1904. Keller’s opinion explained that it applies equally
to tax-supported and privately supported schools.
He cited the Berea College case to prove that. In a further explanation of reasons for his opinion, Keller pointed out that Berea—founded by Ohioans and privately operated—had admitted both races on equal terms for half a century before 1904.
After the enactment of the Day Law, Berea was fined $1,000. It appealed, but lost. Keller added that the Supreme Court never had altered the Berea decision. To show the attitude the courts took in the Berea case, Keller cited parts of the opinions.

Natural Separation Noted.

E. C. O’Rear of Frankfort, then a judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, said in that court’s opinion:
“The separation of the white and black races upon the surface of the globe is a fact equally apparent. Why this is so, it is not necessary to speculate, but the
fact of a distribution of men by race and color is as visible in the providential arrangement of the earth as that of heat and cold. The natural separation of the races is therefore an undeniable fact, and all social organizations which lead to their amalgamation are repugnant to the law of nature.”
The U. S. Supreme Court, referring to Berea’s status as a private institution, said “Besides, appellant, as a corporation created by this State, has no natural right to teach at all. Its right to teach is such as the State sees fit to give to it. The State may withhold it altogether or qualify it.”

Original Format

Newspaper

Publisher

The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY

Citation

“Centre Forbidden to Admit Africans: Keller Says Day Law Prohibits Enrollment of Nigerian Students, The Courier Journal, October 6, 1948,” Paving the Way: The Work of Walter A. Groves at Centre College, accessed July 13, 2024, https://pavingtheway.omeka.net/items/show/38.