Inspired by Brown’s 250th anniversary, the sophomore seminar Race and Remembering collaborated to critically examine race at Brown University. This digital exhibit highlights University legacies of erasure and histories of resistance. This is a call to REMEMBER.
Brown University Professor, Ned Greene, in a chemistry lab with Tougaloo College students. Professor Greene was one of the first Brown faculty to participate in the Brown Tougaloo Cooperative Exchange. This is an example of white professors teaching core Science and English courses at Tougaloo as part of the Title III Application of 1964 — the official contract outlining the partnership.
This Brown Daily Herald (BDH) publication contains an article written by Stephanie Esters, a Tougaloo student who participated in the exchange program. Esters wrote a response to BDH in which she addresses the publication’s misrepresentation of Tougaloo College.
“It’s pathetic ALL of the selected quotations indicated nothing positive about Tougaloo…This only leaves me to believe that Brown is next to heaven – no racism, no sexism, no woes of any kind.”
She speaks about her disappointment in the article failure to inform students at Brown about Tougaloo’s accomplishments and campus and student life.
In this Brown Daily Herald article, Brown students Suzanne Scholzberg writes about her thoughts on her semester exchange at Tougaloo. The article features little to no information on student and campus life at Tougaloo, later criticized by Tougaloo student Stephanie Esters in article “Tougaloo Misrepresented”
The Brown-Tougaloo Partnership, formalized on May 18, 1964, joined Brown University and Tougaloo College, converging two institutions of higher learning dedicated to academic freedom, critical thought, and liberal education.
The partnership began during the peak of the Civil Rights Era. Essentially, it started as a contractual agreement, formally called the Brown Cooperative Exchange. Brown committed to consulting Tougaloo on increasing its endowment, curbing student enrollment and building teaching resources. The partnership automatically began on uneven terms. Brown asserted its authority as a white privileged institution by attempting model Tougaloo after itself rather than using its resources in the way Tougaloo faculty and leadership’s thought best. This included implementing the Brown Tougaloo Language Project — a controversial study on Tougaloo student’s English — despite disagreements with Tougaloo faculty and greater Jackson community. Although Brown’s help meant well, the paternalistic power dynamic tainted the success of relationship.
Early tension over the unequal relationship led to a strained partnership for the past twenty years. Acknowledging history the partnership gives a critical perspective in memorializing the 250 year history of race relations on Brown’s campus.