The Irresistible Ones
April 17, 2014
By: Mary Anne Fitzpatrick
This year we have been commemorating the integration of the University of South Carolina. We have had numerous programs, lectures, films and visiting artists. On April 11, we dedicated a commemorative garden beside the main entrance gates to our university. Pearl Fryar, the noted topiary artist, designed his living sculpture in honor of the three students who led the way--- Robert Anderson; Henrie Monteith, and James Solomon.
Professor Nikky Finney, the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature, in the Department of English and an internationally recognized poet, wrote a poem which was carved in granite at the site.
THE IRRESISTIBLE ONES
ROBERT ANDERSON HENRIE MONTEITH JAMES SOLOMON
They arrive knocking at Osborne’s great garnet door. They want to study
mathematics, join the debate team, and sing in the choir. They are three in a sea of
six thousand. With each step they pole vault shards of doubt, sticks of dynamite, and
stubborn hate mail. With them arrives the bright peppermint of change. The new
laws of the new day can no longer resist these three irresistible ones, in a sea of six
thousand, stepping through a door now garnet and black.
Nikky Finney 2014