Ralph Prater, one of first Black students at Memphis State, dies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The University of Memphis announced Tuesday the death of one of the college’s first Black students, Ralph Prater.
Prater, a member of the Memphis State Eight, leaves a legacy behind as one of the eight Black men and women who were allowed to enroll at the university in 1959.
Bertha Rogers Looney, Marvis LaVerne Kneeland Jones, Rose Blakney-Love, Sammie Burnett-Johnson, Luther McClellan, John Simpson and Eleanor Gandy joined Prater to form the group.
The UofM says it is deeply saddened by Prater’s passing noting his “immeasurable” impact on the community.
Prater is the fifth member of the Memphis State Eight to pass away. According to the Commerical Appeal, Jones, Looney and McClellan are the surviving members.
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