James Hood, one of UA's first black students, dies at 70 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

James Hood, one of UA's first black students, dies at 70

Posted: Updated:
James Hood was one of the students who helped issue the University of Alabama into an era of integration. Source: WBRC video James Hood was one of the students who helped issue the University of Alabama into an era of integration. Source: WBRC video
A quote from James Hood is on the honorary plaza next to Fosters Auditorium at the University of Alabama. A quote from James Hood is on the honorary plaza next to Fosters Auditorium at the University of Alabama.
James Hood. Source: WBRC James Hood. Source: WBRC
  • More newsMore>>

  • Despite good news, benefit programs face problems

    Despite good news, benefit programs face problems

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:36 AM EDT2014-07-29 07:36:53 GMT
    Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges...More >>
    Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward...More >>
  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:09 AM EDT2014-07-29 07:09:15 GMT
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.More >>
    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.More >>
  • Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:53 AM EDT2014-07-29 06:53:07 GMT
    Officials at the Smiths Station Fire Department say the victim, later identified as Vivian Martin, was transported to Midtown Medical Center with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.More >>
    Multiple sources tell News Leader 9 that a Smiths Station teacher was hit by a train earlier today in Lee County.

    Officials at the Smiths Station Fire Department say the victim, later identified as Vivian Martin, was transported to Midtown Medical Center with what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries.
    More >>
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

A man who helped integrate the University of Alabama has died. James Hood passed away yesterday in his hometown of Gadsden at the age of 70.

Hood wasn't the first black student to enroll or graduate from the University of Alabama, but his contributions helped open doors of opportunities for other minorities at the Capstone. He and Vivian Malone tried to enroll at the university in June of 1963.

Former Alabama governor George Wallace stopped them in what became known as the "stand in the school house door." Hood, who was 20 at the time, left a few months later and moved out of state. He returned to Alabama years later and earned his Ph.D. in 1997.

Several years ago, the school honored Hood, Malone and Autherine Lucy, the first black student to enroll at Alabama, with an honorary plaza next to Foster Auditorium, where Hood and the others ushered Alabama into the era of integration.

"Very few people are willing to risk their lives and their careers to do something that might benefit someone else," UA VP of Community Affairs Dr. Samory Pruitt said.

"At the same time, history is kinder now, but everyone wasn't pleased with the idea of integrating this institution. But as we look back 50 years, you can see that it actually made this university better," Pruitt said.

Funeral arrangements for Hood have not yet been finalized. The AP reports that Adams-Buggs Funeral Home in Gadsden will handle the arrangements.

Pruitt says at some point this year, the university will likely have a ceremony to mark the contributions and passing of James Hood.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow