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  • Writer's pictureAlice Bernstein

Women's History Month: Honoring Barbara Pace Sears, the Woman Who Fought to Desegregate Georgia State

"Barbra" Pace Sears (1933-2005) Managing Editor at La Vida News/ The Black Voice, Texas, Assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Notable in her life is that in 1959, Barbra along with Iris Mae Welch, and Myra Elliot Dinsmore were three black women students who successfully fought to desegregate Georgia State University.

" It was my case that was actually fought and won in the Georgia Supreme Court to desegregate Georgia State in the 1950s. I had to face the KKK and the White Citizen's Council almost daily for three years. I had to move my two children to "safe" houses almost weekly until my parents picked them up and took them back to Pennsylvania. I fully understand the ramifications of racism. Aesthetic Realism offers a real solution."

Iris Mae Welch, Barbra Sears (then Barbra Hunt) and Myra Elliot Dinsmore were three plaintiffs in the case Hunt v. Arnold, the court case that found segregation at Georgia State University to be unconstitutional.

In his book, Ground Crew, The Fight To End Segregation At Georgia State, Maurice C. Daniels, provides an intimate and detail account of this compelling story of a landmark case against segregation in the South.

Hunt v. Arnold became the NAACP’s first federal court victory against segregated education in Georgia, establishing key legal precedents for subsequent litigation against racial discrimination in education.

You can have access to this valuable work following this link:

In 2005, Alice Bernstein interviewed Barbara Sears daughter, Crystal Freeman at the NAACP. Where she spoke about her mother courage and passion for justice, recalling her accomplishments and sacrifices.

© and courtesy of Crystal Freeman

Left: young Crystal Freeman and her mother, Barbra Sears in New York.

Right: Crystal Freeman, holding a portrait of her mother, Barbra Sears.

We are grateful for Barbara Pace Sears statements included in our new book: Aesthetic Realism & the Answer to Racism. To obtain the book please follow this link:


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