Shattering the Color Barrier: Black Students, White Colleges, and the Story of Project E-Quality at Moorhead State College (1968-1974)
Vanorny, Hannah Mae
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During the late 1960s and early 1970s, many predominantly white colleges began admitting larger numbers of black students. According to a 1974-1975 University of Michigan study, these schools shared similar predisposing factors and went through the same precipitating events on their journeys toward increased black enrollment. In addition, after the new students arrived, all of the schools experienced tension as they encountered similar problems and worked to find solutions. Moorhead State College (MSC), in Moorhead, Minnesota, was a white school that began trying to attract more minority students with a recruitment program called Project E-Quality. The program enrolled over 120 minority students, many of them black, between 1968 and 1974. The influx of black students at MSC had a significant impact on the school population as well as on the surrounding white community. The program helped break down racial barriers and stereotypes, as many whites and some blacks encountered people of a different race for the first time. By voicing grievances, forming their own groups, expressing cultural pride, and fighting for change, MSC black students left a lasting impact on the college.