Women’s History Wednesday!

When Dora Martin Berry was crowned the first black Miss University of Iowa in 1955, it made news around the world. “It’s not the color of the skin that should matter, it’s just the person,” she told reporters.


Unfortunately things were not as progressive as they seemed. As she explained in a 1997 oral history interview with the Iowa Women’s Archives, University administration immediately changed pageant rules to prevent such an occurrence in the future, and cancelled or had Berry replaced in events traditionally attended by the campus queen. Despite facing such discrimination, she still has positive memories of the experience. “I never wasted much time being upset about what they did or didn’t do, because they couldn’t diminish what had happened to me,” Berry told IWA. ”That was a gift that is mine to keep.”


Learn more at Iowa Digital Library:

Dora Martin Berry oral history, photos, clippings

African American Women Students at the UI digital collection

  1. love-life-harmony reblogged this from uispeccoll
  2. d0ublezer00 reblogged this from uispeccoll
  3. vida-escarlate reblogged this from signedraee
  4. signedraee reblogged this from blackinamerica
  5. ellediorr reblogged this from dhiemaskyee
  6. dhiemaskyee reblogged this from rayofsunnshinee95
  7. do-your-googles reblogged this from gogul-mun
  8. redlite26 reblogged this from blipsterinsverige
  9. blipsterinsverige reblogged this from gogul-mun
  10. gogul-mun reblogged this from uispeccoll
  11. stolenfromafrikaa reblogged this from uispeccoll
  12. cutiepielay reblogged this from thehannahmachine
  13. thehannahmachine reblogged this from uispeccoll
  14. victoriaslittlepage reblogged this from prominent-afro-history
  15. c-oral reblogged this from stolenfromafrikaa
  16. kiyote23 reblogged this from presscitizen
  17. presscitizen reblogged this from uispeccoll
  18. accelerating-fashionable-taste reblogged this from prominent-afro-history
  19. peoniesandpulitzer reblogged this from uispeccoll
  20. im100proof reblogged this from m4m-ethnic-culture
  21. clayinla reblogged this from m4m-ethnic-culture
  22. m4m-ethnic-culture reblogged this from prominent-afro-history
  23. ignus7 reblogged this from uispeccoll
  24. driftright reblogged this from prominent-afro-history
  25. bewildereddiamond reblogged this from prominent-afro-history
  26. missxmcb reblogged this from prominent-afro-history
  27. prominent-afro-history reblogged this from uispeccoll and added:
    prominent-afro-history.tumblr.com/archive