Man receives diploma after 55-year wait

alva earley

An African-American man denied a high school diploma for going to a “white” beach finally received his diploma 55 years later.

Alva Earley was set to graduate from Galesburg High School in June 1959 when he and some friends discussed going to North Lake Storey Beach to have a picnic.

There was an unwritten rule at the time: Black people were not allowed to go there. He went anyways, and was later told he would not graduate or go to college.

He shared his story with a few friends last fall, and they called on the school superintendent to do something.

“When they requested that I look it up, they were correct that he had enough credits to graduate, had his transcripts signed and everything,” school superintendent Bart Arthur said. “He did what he accomplished, and we need to honor that.”

Earley said his decision had serious consequences. He had been accepted to the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

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3 comments

  • Kevin

    Jeremy, if you bite into a bad apple, are all the apples to be thrown out? Regardless of colour everybody body needs to think hard on how they act and how they treat others. We prove what we are to others through our actions and deeds.

  • michael

    Attending Northwestern University (Chicago metro area or in MA for that matter) is hardly a case of being downtrodden. It is one of the most expensive, elite institutions in the nation. This man received “Cs” in his last semester of high school. Was it the chicken or the egg? There is never an excuse for racism. However, this story is ludicrous in the way it presents this man as a poor victim. Most people (of any race) cannot afford to go to Northwestern U. and many people do not have the privilege of earning a doctorate degree.

    • Dan

      So you did all of this “investigation” and found his transcripts and you’re too stupid to realize that Northwestern and University of Chicago was much cheaper 50 years ago ($1740)?

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