James Hood, First Black Male Student at Univ. of Alabama, Dies

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James Hood (Photo: The Birmingham News/ Tamika Moore)

GADSDEN, Ala. (WHNT) – James Hood, one of the first black students who changed history by attending the University of Alabama 50 years ago, died Thursday in his hometown of Gadsden.

Hood was 70 years old.

On June 11, 1963, Hood peacefully stood in the door of UA’s Foster Auditorium with Vivian Malone.  The two were preparing to register for classes.  George Wallace, Alabama’s governor at the time, stood against them with a large group of state troopers and protestors.  The event became known as the ‘stand in the schoolhouse door’. 

Wallace backed down later that day after President John F. Kennedy called in the National Guard.

Vivian Malone Jones died in 2005.