This article is the final installment of memoirs chronicling my educational experiences as a Black student during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. I attended Virginia’s segregated elementary and high schools. My last two years of high school were at Culver Military Academy (Culver Academies), an integrated preparatory school in Culver, Indiana. When I enrolled in 1970, Duke University was seven years into integration and still struggling with its racist history. This installment is my first-hand account of being a Black student at Duke during the early 1970s.

Friends and associates have asked why I decided to attend Duke. The answer…

This article is Part II to my earlier article “Separate and Unequal — Part I, Elementary and High School Days,” which chronicled my experiences attending Virginia’s segregated schools during the 1950s and 60s. During the spring of 1968, I was awarded an A Better Chance (ABC) scholarship to attend Culver Military Academy (now Culver Academies), a private boarding school in Indiana. My Culver days, sprinkled with nuggets of experiences growing up black during the Jim Crow era, are chronicled here.

The summer of 1968 marked a new station in my life. To put the time in perspective, the spring and…

Separate and Unequal — Part I, Elementary and High School Days

My early childhood education started at Fair Oaks Elementary School, a segregated school in Henrico County, Virginia. At that time (1958), separate but equal laws (Jim Crow) prevented black kids (we were Negroes then) from attending schools with white kids. ​

I first realized I was at significant risk for getting prostate cancer 15 years ago, when my older brother, who was then in his mid-forties, informed me that he had been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate and later prostate cancer. He had surgery in 1997 to remove his prostate.

My father had prostate surgery about 35 years ago. I knew little about the disease at that time, and other than knowing that he had had the surgery to remove his prostate, I don’t remember much about it. I do know that when he was hospitalized in 2005, his doctors asked…

Ralph M Davis

A retired government executive raised in the south during the 1950s and 1960s. He shares life lessons through a series of stories, speeches and reflections.

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