R.L. Moore topologist and racist

If you read this down to the bottom you get a little hint, but you have to read something like this to understand what that little hint means.

In graduate school she was very much alone, though she was a grader for an undergraduate course taken by Raymond Johnson. In her first class, she was the only Black, the only woman. Her classmates ignored her completely, even terminating conversations if she came within earshot. She was denied a teaching assistantship, although she was an experienced (13 years) and excellent teacher. She wrote further:”I could not join my advisor and other classmates to discuss mathematics over coffee at Hilsberg’s cafe…. Hilsberg’s would not serve Blacks. Occasionally, I could get snatches of their conversation as they crossed our picket line outside the cafe.” She could not enroll in professor R.L. Moore class as he explicitly stated that he did not teach Blacks. Overlooking all this, one of her professors, complaining against the civil rights demonstrations, said to her: “If all those out there were like you, hard-working and studious, we wouldn’t have any problems.” Her reply: “If it hadn’t been for those hell-raisers out there, you wouldn’t even know me.”


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