AU honors first African American student

AUBURN, Ala. – Dr. Harold Franklin became the first African American student at Auburn University in 1964, marking the beginning of desegregation of the university.

Thursday, a marker was unveiled in his honor. Dr. Franklin recounted the struggles he faced.

“I’m going to school. I’m not coming to hunt. I don’t let anything get me down, and that really upset everybody,” said Dr. Franklin.

Years later, many African American students have followed in Dr. Franklin’s footsteps. Students like senior, Sae’Breon Stiles, who is also the President of the Harold A. Franklin society on campus.

“I was honored to say thank you for the path you took for us, and for the steps you have taken to allow me to follow you’re path,” said Stiles.

The historical marker stands for Dr . Franklin’s courage and achievement.

“So others could come and would feel free to come…Would not have to go through the problems I have had to get here, and do their best,” said Dr. Franklin.

Dr. Franklin’s story resonates with Stiles. He says Dr. Franklin will continue to inspire him on campus and in life.

“Through Dr. Franklin’s impact it surely made me feel like I can be a part of this community, and I can make a difference,” said Stiles.

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