James Solomon Jr.

Professor, student and civil rights activist

In 1963, James Solomon Jr. (1930- ) was one of three African Americans to desegregate the University of South Carolina when he enrolled in the university’s graduate program in mathematics. Solomon served in the U.S. Air Force and fought in the Korean War. After leaving the military, he received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry at Morris College and earned his master’s degree in mathematics from Atlanta University. Solomon was a professor at Morris College, in Sumter, SC, when he became the USC math department’s first African American student. Solomon, Henri Monteith and Robert Anderson broke down barriers to higher education at USC and were part of broader efforts to desegregate colleges in the state and the nation.

Image courtesy of The State Newspaper Photograph Archive, Richland Library

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