Desegregation Documented

Horace Traylor applied again and again for admission as a student to the University of Chattanooga. As the first African-American to graduate from the institution, Traylor’s persistence broke the barrier for entrance into Chattanooga’s university, now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Traylor offers one of the student voices in a new documentary, Reaching the Light: The Story of the Desegregation of the University of Chattanooga.

“This is a story that has never been told, and it desperately needs to be. My father marched in many civil rights demonstrations and suffered through police beatings; however, after listening to these first black students at UC, it makes it clear to me that, while we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go,” said Dr. Felicia McGhee-Hilt, who co-produced the film with fellow Communication Department faculty member Mike Andrews.

Betsy Alderman, Communication Department head, served as executive producer.

To view a portion of the video or purchase a DVD, visit