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Dr. Asa G. Hillard praises Daniels' biography of Horace T. Ward

Text of letter below:

 

Dear Brother Daniels,

Thank you for the great book and for the opportunity to comment. It was a real pleasure to read your book, having lived through the same years as did Judge Ward, and having followed closely this Georgia part of the civil rights struggle from afar.

The book tells a fascinating story, a detailed documentary with an insightful analysis. Yet it is very clearly written. It illuminates clearly one of the great struggles for democracy in Georgia, a particular struggle that sets the stage for Charlayne Hunter Gault and Hamilton Holmes to challenge successfully the segregation policy at the University of Georgia. This is robust history at its very best.

Maurice Daniels has exposed important aspects of the character and pervasiveness of oppression through segregation. He has exposed the power of the interests who upheld it, and the irrationality and false ideology found among the elites of the society. Without the support and leadership of the elites, it is unlikely that an oppressive society can be structured.

Looking backwards through the lenses that Daniels provides, we see clearly that the issue was not the qualifications of African Americans to compete at the flagship institution then, anymore than it is the real issue today. The issue was the maintenance of privilege for whites, more qualified or not.

Ward, Hunter-Gault and Hamilton demonstrated their superior talents and later achievements. There is something very important here for understanding today's continuing struggles against the barriers to opportunity, at the same time that tribute is paid to a truly great Georgia, Judge Ward.

Bravo to Maurice Daniels for a brilliant history.

Asa G. Hilliard, III
Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Education
Georgia State University