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Student who helped desegregate college dies at 80

North Carolina

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 1/3/2018, 10:17 a.m.
LeRoy Frasier, who along with his brother and another high school student was among the..

LeRoy Frasier, who along with his brother and another high school student was among the first African-American undergraduate students to successfully challenge racial segregation at North Carolina's flagship public university, has died at the age of 80, reports the Associated Press. Family members said Tuesday that Frasier, a long-time English teacher, suffered heart failure and died Dec. 29 at a hospital in New York City. Frasier, his brother Ralph and John Lewis Brandon were students at Hillside High School in Durham when they applied to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955. They were rejected until a federal court judge ordered UNC-Chapel Hill to admit them. Although UNC-Chapel Hill officially opened its doors to the three young men, they weren't welcomed everywhere. Ralph Frasier, 79, who lives in Jacksonville, Florida, recalled that the golf course and the university-owned restaurant and hotel known as the Carolina Inn were off-limits. At football games, they were seated in a section with custodial workers, who were Black. And the three lived on their own floor of a section of a dormitory. They also had to get a special dispensation to use the swimming pool. The Frasier brothers completed three years at Chapel Hill before Ralph left for the Army and LeRoy for the Peace Corps. Their harsh treatment at UNC-Chapel Hill was one of the reasons they left the school, Ralph Frasier said. Both later graduated from what's now North Carolina Central University, a historically Black school in Durham.