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.