Storming the Gates of Knowledge

A Documentary History of
Desegregation and Coeducation
in Jefferson's Academical Village

Priya N. Parker
CLAS 2004

This documentary history outlines the lives and courageous acts of three pioneers in the history of the fight for desegregation and co-education at the University of Virginia: Alice Jackson, Gregory Swanson, and Virginia Scott. These young people were refused an education because of their race or gender. Yet they did not submit passively, and because of their courageous acts and sacrifices, the face of the Unviersity of Virginia has changed. By storming the gates of knowledge, these courageous people began the long road towards the breakdown of prejudice and intolerance, and began the march towards equality for all at the University of Virginia. Today, many students take for granted their opportunity to obtain an education at the University of Virginia, regardless of race, color, gender, or religion. But it wasn't always that way. And those who fought for justice must be remembered, and their stories must be told.


This project was funded by a Student Research Award from
The William R. Kenan Endowment Fund of the Academical Village

Project Advisor: Scot French, Assistant Professor/Associate Director
The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies