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First Black Undergraduate Students

Leroy Frasier, John Lewis Brandon, and Ralph Frasier (left to right), on the steps of South Building, 1955

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed itself and outlawed all forms of segregation in the public schools. The following year, the federal courts ordered the admission of black undergraduates to the university. The first three were from Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina. Black enrollment remained low for many years. There were four black freshmen in 1960 and only eighteen in 1963.