UTC to debut Black History documentary - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UTC to debut Black History documentary

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- It was a time of segregation, fighting for equal rights, and a period that reshaped our history.

The Civil Rights Movement was also shaping history here in Chattanooga.

In 1963, Dr. Horace Traylor tried to enroll in the University of Chattanooga's graduate program. But when he walked into the building, there was an eerie silence.

"The place got quiet and I got quiet because I didn't know what to do," says Traylor. "But I stood my ground."

He was known in Chattanooga for his ties to the school system, so he didn't think it would be a problem.

The admissions office denied him several times, saying they were not accepting "blacks."

Traylor talked with the school chancellor and after much debate, reached an agreement.

"Take the point of view of the black community and the white community and this is not only the proper thing to do and the right thing to do, but it is long overdue," Traylor says.

The university is now set to run a documentary of Traylor's story, entitled "Reaching The Light."

It is a story he says is long overdue.

"Young people have difficulty understanding the Civil Rights Movement," says Traylor. "They were not alive then."

Fast forward 49 years later and the school has made more opportunities available to black students.

Traylor says he hopes this documentary will continue the surge.

"When you look at the number of student, faculty, and administrators, the institution is moving in the right direction, but we are not there yet," he says.

The viewing will be held February 28, at 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Auditorium on campus. Should seats fill quickly, overflow seating will be available in the Tennessee Rooms.

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