This christening cup was a gift from the Class of 1892 to Carter Barnett, the second black student to graduate from Denison, or more specifically to his son, Carl, the first child born to a member of the class. Inscribed on the cup is the phrase “America’s Hope,” acknowledging the promise of a new generation.
A center fielder on the championship 1890 Denison baseball team, Barnett lived with “Auntie Jack” (Mrs. Samuel Jackson), the cook at the Sigma Chi House, and that’s where he met Jackson’s niece, Callie, a member of Granville’s first black family and a student at Granville High School. The two married in 1893 after she finished high school and before they moved to West Virginia, where Carter worked as a principal for segregated schools.
In addition to Carl, the Barnetts had another son, Leroy, and they sent both boys to live with their grandparents in Granville to attend its integrated school system. The boys would later move on to Ohio State, where Carl graduated as a licensed architect but taught for the majority of his career because of discriminatory practices. Leroy obtained a degree from the medical school and went on to practice. Given their stories, the cup appears almost prophetic of the challenges and advances the Barnetts made in the tumultuous racial climate of the 20th century.