L Lucile Bluford
Lucile Harris Bluford (July 1, 1911 Salisbury, North Carolina - June 13, 2003, Kansas City, Missouri) was a famous journalist and opponent of segregation in America's education system, and after whom the Lucile H. Bluford Branch of the Kansas City Public Library is named.
She was the second editor and publisher of the Kansas City "Call" newspaper.
Bluford applied to the Master of Journalism program at the renowned Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri and was accepted. However, during the ensuing enrollment process, she was dismissed because of her race.
She was a very close friend of Lloyd Gaines, who similarly attempted to enroll at the University of Missouri. At the time Bluford attempted to enroll Missouri expected African-American students to attend Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, 30 miles away from the Columbia, Missouri university campus. Lincoln University did not have a journalism program.
On October 13, 1939, after trying to enter the University of Missouri's program 11 times, Bluford filed the first of several lawsuits. By 1941 her case had made it to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled in her favor. After the court ruling in her favor, the University of Missouri responded by closing their Journalism Graduate program, stating there were too few staff members because of World War II. In 1989 the University of Missouri awarded her an honorary degree which she accepted, “not only for myself, but for the thousands of black students” who had faced discrimination.