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"I encountered both social and academic challenges. I had a few racist professors whom I tuned out because I was committed to and passionate about my education. I was not going to be deterred nor be a disappointment to myself, my family, and my undergraduate university where I had graduated number one in my class."
"The community was something that I could not control. I grew up in Mississippi, an infamous state known for the Emmitt Till debacle and the civil rights martyrs who were killed by the Klan. In Mississippi, as most Southern states, discrimination and segregation were overt. There were signs in bold letters—WHITE and COLORED. In West Lafayette, discrimination was covert and insidious. There were no signs—just a refusal to serve you or to rent you a room. This was extremely hurtful because you never knew when you would be rejected or refused. I went to my room and cried several times. But my zealous commitment to succeed propelled me to work harder to overcome my lack of prior experience."
"I know and am very pleased that things have changed dramatically since my matriculation at Purdue and West Lafayette. I have a niece and a nephew who graduated from Purdue in engineering in the seventies, and they find it hard to believe some of my experiences."
Original Instagram Post From: Montshire Museum of Science @montshire
Text: Dolores Cooper Shockley, First Black woman Ph.D. in Pharmacology.
image: Shockley family
reporting: Purdue School of Pharmacy, @purduepharmacy