FSU Celebrates 50 Years of Integration

By: Angelica Alvarez Email
By: Angelica Alvarez Email

Tallahassee - April 20, 2012 12:08am -

"There was a time when we first left we didn't feel this was our university, but Florida State is my university," said Doby Flowers, the first African American Homecoming Princess at FSU.

In 1970, Flowers was elected as Florida State's first African American Homecoming Princess. It was just years before that people of color were not allowed at Florida State. On Thursday, she stood with her brother, Fred Flowers, the first African American athlete at FSU, to celebrate 50 years of integration at the university.

Fred Flowers said, "This is for me an experience that was totally unexpected but for me to part of the celebration and to be honored like we're being honored, what it means to me, it's just unbelievable."

The Integration statue on campus represents the Flowers siblings and Maxwell Courtney, FSU's first African American undergraduate. He passed away in the 70's but his cousin was at the celebration in his honor.

Together they joined 1,500 students and staff in the 'Hands Across Campus'. They joined hands and passed a medallion to honor the values they hope to pass down to students today.

Diamond Lee is a senior at FSU and said, "These people were the pioneers to make us be able to actually come to this school."

"To just be out here in this presence, 50 years ago for me to be an African American student it wasn't possible for me to go here, but to see that things have changed," said Jelessa Robinson, a junior at FSU.

Doby Flowers says when she was a student she never imagined she would help shape history, but says it's a piece of Florida State history she is proud to call her own.

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  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on Apr 21, 2012 at 05:34 AM
    It is obvious in the video that most people celebrating are Africans. Assimilation a seccess? I don't think so.
  • by Student Location: Tallahassee on Apr 20, 2012 at 02:38 PM
    Why are u even talking about Famu this is clearly about fsu but to address ur question, FAMU is integrated already unlike FSU 50 years ago ppl of any color can go to famu
  • by Surly Location: Grrr on Apr 20, 2012 at 02:06 PM
    Those who deserve recognition for raw courage in breaking the color line include the kids who integrated the high schools -- especially the first ones that played football. They had it much tougher than the college kids did...
  • by HERE YA GO on Apr 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM
    "50 years later"....we had to dumb down learning requirements, get students more assistance to pass,provide free lunchs, etc
    • reply
      by senior on Apr 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM in reply to HERE YA GO
      Amen to that!!
    • reply
      by truth on Apr 21, 2012 at 06:44 AM in reply to HERE YA GO
      ya just for you backwoods country bumpkins!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2012 at 01:15 PM
    Intergration...the worst thing to happen to education since since bussing.
  • by Rick Location: Tallahassee on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM
    FAMU is the university of the people. We've always been integrated and very proud of who we are and our mission. Are there any plans to integrate FSU, other than its athletic programs? I'm a FAMU Grad and proud of it! This is about FSU anyway. How did this turn into a FAMU discussion? I know; you hearts are really at FAMU. We understand. Life is good at FAMU.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2012 at 06:02 PM in reply to Rick
      I find it hilarious when FAMU graduates, the few that exist, try to talk about diversity. FAMU is the least diverse university in the state. 95% of the students are one race.
  • by Rick Location: Tally on Apr 20, 2012 at 05:40 AM
    Are there any plans to integrate FAMU?
    • reply
      by uh, excuse me on Apr 20, 2012 at 07:14 AM in reply to Rick
      Who, in their right mind, would ever want to attend FAMU except a thug?
      • reply
        by Someone who attened FAMU on Apr 20, 2012 at 08:19 AM in reply to uh, excuse me
        I am also a retired US Marine officer and soon to be a retired State employee. What have you done for your country?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM in reply to Someone who attened FAMU
          Gave it money, never took any in return -- while patriotic cops and gossip mongers tried desperately to find something they could put me in jail for. While being paid with my money. Why would they do that? Well, the local drug lords asked them too -- and I own a little bit of land -- just enough to make it desirable that I be classed as a "criminal". Never been arrested btw, but then they only tried for 30 years. Happens that way in small counties sometimes. Nice that you had such a great life.
        • reply
          by Former State worker on Apr 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM in reply to Someone who attened FAMU
          So you are a retired State worker and you think that means you actually DID something for this country, LOL!!! I also am a former State woker and you and I both know that State workers do not WORK!!! Nice career ripping off the tax payer, enjoy your retirement.
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