University of Oklahoma
George Henderson, Ph.D., joined the University of Oklahoma faculty in 1967. He and his wife, Barbara Henderson, were the first African-American couple to purchase a home in Norman. In this interview, he will tell you how difficult it was to make that purchase. Dr. Henderson is the author of 28 books and has served as the Dean of OU’s College of Liberal Studies. In 1969 he founded the Department of Human Relations in which he served as director. Dr. Henderson was the first African-American in the State of Oklahoma to hold an endowed professorship. His name has become synonymous with efforts to promote diversity and interracial understanding.
Our discussion with Dr. Henderson includes his friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Bud Wilkinson, Dick Gregory and Bill Russell. He talks about his decision to support non-violence while seeking equality for African-Americans. A visit to Oklahoma’s Little Dixie made him realize he was ready to die for racial equality. Dr. Henderson and his fellow activists set in motion many institutional changes that continue to this day. His book Race and the University may be purchased in our bookstore.
Interview with George Henderson
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: May 18, 2011
Date Published: November 21, 2012
Photo Credits: Slideshow images from “Good Guys Wear White Hats, The Life of George Nigh” by Bob Burke
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.