Lloyd Gaines and the Fight to End Segregation
The University of Missouri – roiled in the past year by racial tensions and protests – was central to a key U.S. Supreme Court ruling on desegregation nearly eight decades earlier. Justices in 1938 ordered MU to admit a black man, Lloyd Gaines, to its School of Law or create a separate law school to accommodate him. In a mystery enduring to this day, Gaines vanished from sight soon afterward.
MU political science professors James W. Endersby and William Horner examine the case in a discussion of their book Lloyd Gaines and the Fight to End Segregation. The first book focusing solely on Gaines’ story, it addresses the role played by the NAACP and its lawyers and their strategy to produce political change. The high court ruling would be the first of many regarding race, higher education, and equal opportunity.