First Black NASA Administrator Charles Bolden 'Pleaded' To Get Into Naval Academy : The Two-Way : NPR:
But that first critical step of attending the Naval Academy almost didn't happen, Bolden says, when his state representatives would not nominate him for consideration because he was black. One of South Carolina's senators at the time, Strom Thurmond, flatly rejected Bolden's request.
"[He] told me, 'No way are you going to get an appointment from me to go to the Naval Academy,'" Bolden says. "It was clear why they were not supporting me and it was because of the times. They were just not about to appoint a black to the Naval Academy or to any Academy."
But Bolden had a backup plan.
'via Blog this'