This course was being taught during the fall semester when it
became obvious that the instructor believed that 70 percent of
slaves were happy with their lot. This was his conclusion after
studying both the diaries of Union soldiers and a series of
interviews made in the 1930s with former slaves. The teacher, a
member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, acknowledges that
slavery was wrong, but feels “we cannot allow political
correctness to rewrite history or wipe out our heritage.” Eugene
D. Genovese, an expert on slavery, thinks this instructor is
wrong, but recognizes that the slaves’ narratives are open to
varying interpretations. “On academic freedom grounds,” he would
not be in favor of removing the course.

This was the initial opinion of the college President: “varying
views may be presented that are not necessarily those of the
college.” But the U S Commission on Civil Rights, and members of
the state and local NAACP, kept up the pressure, and the course
was canceled before it met for its last session. One NAACP
official felt that since the course “distorts” history and
produces racial tension, it should simply not be taught. The
college President based his final decision on the course’s
offensiveness, and the impression that the college deliberately
was offending people.