The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article of a woman, Autherine Lucy Foster, in the January 5th article by Bob Green, The University of Alabama Earns a Victory Over an Ugly History, that mentioned a plaque of Foster that was unveiled on the campus of the University of Alabama.
In 1956, Foster wanted to become a teacher and go to the University of Alabama. She believed this school to be the top in the state and, from that degree, she would gain a full-time teaching position. UA accepted Foster, but upon learning she was not white, rescinded the acceptance.
Foster went to court and won the right to attend and, on her first day of class, was met with angry and threatening crowds. Three days later, she was suspended for “her own safety”. Undeterred, Foster went back to court, but UA now expelled her based on her arguments in court.
As the story unfolds, she did work as a teacher and eventually did go on to and receive a Master’s degree from the University of Alabama in 1992 . . . and on the same day her daughter graduated as well.
Courage, yes. Determination, unquestionably.
Now Compare Foster to Ashley Judd and those of her ilk who are “Hollywood Hero’s” after they came forward…but only after the brave had cleared the path. Once they’ve gotten theirs, with strong voices and shaking fists, they speak against the “evil” that once lay before them, but said nothing about.
So, let’s raise a glass to toast real character and courage. This is one statue we admire, not for the color of skin or gender of body, but of spirit of character and determination.