In the weeks before school started, it was widely known on campus at the University of Alabama that a well-qualified black woman was pledging the white sororities. Her high-school resume was stellar, her family were alums and her grandfather was on the Board of Trustees.
The staff at the student newspaper, The Crimson White, was poised to document the seminal moment when she was accepted, which would coincide with the 50th anniversary of the university’s integration.
But the woman received no invitations to join any of the school’s 16 white sororities.
A couple days after the invitations were issued, Culture Editor Abbey Crain and Magazine Editor Matt Ford both stepped up at the Crimson White. Crain said in a phone interview for the Poynter Excellence Project that she assumed someone else was already working on the story and just wanted to help. Read more