The Black Man Who Taught at Auburn University in 1947

hathawayEight students at Auburn University in Alabama began an educational project last fall on the work of African American artist Isaac Scott Hathaway. Hathaway, the son of a former slave, was best known for his sculpture of busts of key African American historical figures. In 1937 he established the ceramics department at Tuskegee University.

But in a surprise, the students discovered that Hathaway taught a workshop at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, in the summer of 1947. This was 16 years before the racial integration of the university.

The students found a recommendation from Marion Spidle, dean of the School of Home Economics at Auburn, which read, “Professor Hathaway gave excellent lectures in the composition and analysis of clays, slips, glazes, etc., in the development of ceramics as an art and clearly showed how well qualified he is to make his own formulas using all Alabama clay.”

Hathaway moved to Montgomery in 1947 and became director of ceramics at Alabama State College where he worked until retirement in 1963. He died in 1967.

The Auburn students have created a website that serves as an educational resource on the work of Professor Hathaway.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Report Established by State Senator Art Haywood Uncovers Racism in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

"Ultimately, Pennsylvania's leaders and institutions should respect the dignity of all students," says Senator Art Haywood. "The work to ensure that dignity is intact for Pennsylvania's Students of Color continues with this report in hopes that one day the work will no longer be required."

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman Appointed President of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

"I appreciate the support I have received from my faculty and trainee colleagues here at UC San Diego along with colleagues from around the world," says Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman. "Together we will work to advance our field and our reach, improving patient outcomes and eliminating health disparities."

Rate of Black Homeownership in America Remains Virtually Unchanged Since 2012

The National Association of Realtors has found that although homeownership rates in American are steadily increasing, the rate of Black homeownership has experienced significantly less growth than White, Asian, and Hispanic homeownership since 2012.

Safiya George Named President of the University of the Virgin Islands

“As a servant leader, I am confident I will be an effective President for the University of the Virgin Islands and will remain humble and grounded with a sincere desire to improve outcomes and the lives of students, faculty, staff, and the community," says Safiya George, who will assume the role of president of the University of the Virgin Islands this summer.

Featured Jobs