During the 1960s, many movements sparked student activism. Within this time, many minority groups were facing legal and cultural discriminations such as African Americans and women. Writers such as Marcia G. Synnott and Kelly Morrow reflect on these topics and the misconceptions one may have about how these movements were handled and perceived within the South. Within Synnott’s chapter titled “Moderate White Activists and the Struggle for Racial Equality on South Carolina Campuses”, she explains the views on segregation through the eye of white students throughout South Carolina colleges. Within Morrow’s chapter titled “Sexual Liberation at the University of North Carolina”, she explains the hypocrisy older generations have posed on young college women. Though these two movements are unrelated, they face similar challenges, as well as similar support. Both chapters explore the view of racial equality and sexual liberation through a different lense that gives each movement more understanding.
Both writers expose and counter the common perceptions of each individual movement during the 1960s. Synnott argues that though many believe that South Carolina easily shifted into a period of desegregation due to moderate leaders, that in fact, civic and student leaders were the ones able to achieve this accessible transition with the help of older generation influence. Specifically with two organizations, the South Carolina Council on Human Relations and the South Carolina Student Council on Human Relations, were able to effectively recruit moderate white students to become involved in the Civil Rights Movement and inspire african american students to
speak out against the racial inequality. The directors of these organizations Alice Spearman and Cowan Ledeen, were able to expand their model to other schools and successfully desegregate USC. However, South Carolinas racial fashion continued to stay the same. Synnott was able to conclude that although South Carolina remained soft and mild on the Civil Right’s Movement, under Spearman and Leeden white college students were able to become aware of their social responsibilities in regards to equality as well as encouraging African Americans to gain confidence. Morrow, on the other hand, dismantles the common perception of the sexual revolution depicted by popular culture, in which the number of unmarried people participating in intercourse greatly increases.5 Morrow notes that Beth Bailey introduces the idea that the sexual revolution is in fact a response to the hypocrisy that society anticipates that young women should remain abstinent before marriage, although most young people were participating in intercourse before marriage. Throughout her piece, Morrow examines the involvement of young men and young women effectively altering the education system, as well as, attempting to destroy the societal standards placed upon women and their sexuality. Though there were many obstacles placed upon by the students by the university and its physicians, they were able to change the relationship between themselves, each other and their own bodies.