First Black UF Student
Before George Starke, being a Gator wasn't something that was possible if you were African American. Starke lead a march Monday on the campus, but 50 years ago he lead the march for future black students.
"I'm proud to be here at the University of Florida, and I really do appreciate the fact that he took the initiative to come here."
Before the march, flash bulbs popped as Starke arrived at the Student Union.Â In 1958, after avoiding reports all day, he remembers a lonely moment until the President of the Law Review sat beside him in class
"I was just sitting there in class and there were empty chairs on both sides and he sat there and from that point on i felt pretty confident."
"He is very modest about what he did. I don't think he really understands how appreciative University of Florida is for him."
He says there were no incidents at UF but the pressure and stress caused him to transfer after only a year and a half, and more than twelve thousand black students have taken his place since.
For his part, Starke says he is impressed by the diversity he sees.
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