Even then a ban on interracial relationships lasted into the twenty-first century.
After a period of objective discussion and research, we begin to understand the origin of these negative impressions. Stories of its founding leaders having connections to notoriously bigoted characters and organizations.
Married black students were not admitted until 1971, and unmarried black students were not admitted until 1975.
I considered Underwood's letter to Bob Jones III to be so insightful - and so up to date in its observations - that I engaged a transcriptionist to type the body of the letter so that I could include it in BJU Exposed.
There is a direct link to the Open Letter on this page.
The individuals on the receiving end of this treatment recounted those experiences to their tight-knit communities, and their stories provided a public record of the University's attitude toward minorities. We realize that other institutions have made mistakes as well.
Finally, many of us have personally seen actions or heard statements from current members of the University community which seem to indicate that sensitivity toward this issue is not a priority of its administration or representatives. We do not excuse their mistakes, but neither are we concerned with them.I don't know how widely Underwood's letter was circulated or how many people signed and sent in petitions as a result of his letter.I do know that anyone associated with such a letter of reproof and rebuke directed toward the Joneses/BJU could be sure they would be blackballed.We can find no record of a statement that admits that the university’s historical position on race, while sincere, was mistaken, and God has granted a better perspective. We hope and believe that such a statement would be sincere and accurate.We are writing to request that such a statement be made, backed up by concrete actions that demonstrate its seriousness. We recognize that it may be difficult to make and realize that it may attract criticism from other corners.Years ago, in 1983, Charles Underwood, first director of Church Planting at BJU, penned an Open Letter to Bob Jones III.