Being African American, upon reading the prompt, I immediately say that African American heroism is much different than that of the white Mercer students who worked with Mac Bryan. Although they both endured a trying time, getting ridiculed for their actions, which both spoke heroism in the same light, each having skin, but who had to live with their actual color… the blacks. Skin you couldn’t wash away, skin that would always be seen as deserving of “go[ing] to a back-door, [to] get your food, and go elsewhere…” (17).
The integration of schools was the most intensified. Being rejected to schools, even though they were the “cream of the crop” (20), was not even the worst thing that African American students had to endure. They were treated as if they were invisible. Once blacks were able to integrate, actor 8 tells of a story of a night in room: “They came into my room, pretending to see my roommate, and I noticed they kept hanging around until midnight. And that was because one girl was from Wynder, Georgia, and had been taught that black people grew tails after midnight. She was serious. She actually believed that bull! I threw her butt out of my room” (24). Although it is noted that whites had to endure some type of humiliation, being called “nigger lovers”, but eventually they would be able to stray away from that.
Very heroic were the supporters of Mercer’s integration, as well as those African Americans who stood beside them and did not push them. Professors like Ed Bacon, allowed black students to not “see black and white”because they were all God’s children. The “unshakeable connection with God allowed both parties to have the strength to fight for justice and what they saw was the true way then that of the old Southern baptist denomination (40). Working together they created a bigger force, that they hoped would burn in the hearts and mind of people forever.