Hocutt, Thomas Raymond
- David B. McCarthy
in a pioneering but unsuccessful attempt to desegregate higher education in North Carolina, was born in Durham, North Carolina, the son of Florence Amos and Thomas Henry Hocutt. After graduating from Durham’s Hillside Park High School, he worked in a pharmacy in a nearby city. He then enrolled in Durham’s North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University) while he worked as an assistant headwaiter at the Washington Duke Inn. Hocutt wanted to become a pharmacist, but North Carolina’s only program was at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, which had never admitted African Americans.
In 1933 two Durham attorneys, Conrad Pearson and Cecil McCoy, began to strategize about mounting a legal challenge to North Carolina’s segregationist higher education. With the support of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) executive secretary Walter White the lawyers met with several outstanding students in ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.