This chapter serves as a summary of the evidence presented in the previous sections of the book and reiterates the evolutionary change that journalism in the Magnolia State underwent from the 1955 through 1973. Editors and reporters went from attacking the various colleges and universities for their quest for athletic glory and potential violations of the Closed Society to identifying the first black basketball players at these educational stalwarts as equals among their peers. By the time these schools began adding black athletes, the reign of the Closed Society was at a virtual end. The various challenges to the unwritten law and the eventual integration of college basketball in the Magnolia State was evidence of the social and ideological evolution in Mississippi’s press. While the athletic accomplishments of these colleges and universities may not have served as a direct catalyst for change, there was no doubt that the differences of opinions expressed in the pages of Mississippi’s newspapers was evidence of a society in transition from the iron grip of the Closed Society to the eventual acceptance of human and civil rights.
Keywords: Mississippi State, Unwritten law, Journalism, Integration, Civil Rights Movement