Lincoln University admits 10 students from Liberia, making it the first
U.S. institution of higher learning to accept African students.
In 1873, Bennett College had its beginning in the unplastered basement of
the Warnersville Methodist Episcopal Church (now known as St. Matthew’s
Methodist Church). Seventy young men and women started elementary and secondary
level studies. In 1874 the Freedmen’s Aid Society took over the school which
remained under its auspices for 50 years.
Within five years of 1873, a group of emancipated slaves purchased the
present site for the school. College level courses and permanent facilities
were added. In 1926, The Women’s Home Missionary Society joined with the Board
of Education of the church to make Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.,
formerly co-educational, a college for women. The challenges that were overcome
to establish Bennett demand that today’s challenges be met and overcome to
ensure her survival. (Bennett College, 2008)
The Civil Rights Act is passed which bans segregation in all public
places. It states: "Whereas it is essential to just government we
recognize the equality of all men before the law, and hold that it is the duty
of government in its dealings with the people to mete out equal and exact
justice to all, of whatever nativity, race, color, or persuasion, religious or
political; and it being the appropriate object of legislation to enact great
fundamental principles into law" ("The Civil Rights Act of March 1,
The year was 1876. Reconstruction was in full swing and the health of
America's poor was receiving little attention. In Nashville, post-Civil War
conditions contributed significantly to the city's unenviable distinction of
having the worst mortality rate in the country. Conditions among freed slaves
were particularly dismal, accounting for disproportionate rates of death and
disease in the black population. (HBCUnetwork.com, 2008)
In October of that year, Meharry Medical College was founded.
Established as the Meharry Medical Department of Central Tennessee College by
the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Meharry's
inception was part of the Society's continuing effort to educate freed slaves
and to provide health care services for the poor and under-served. The first
individual contributors to the school were the five Meharry brothers, led by
Samuel Meharry. Their initial gift was matched by the Methodist Church and the
department was formally opened on October 13, 1876. (HBCUnetwork.com,
View A&M University
On March 11, 1878, eight young Negro men became the first of their race
to enroll in a state-supported college in Texas. Among the instructors were two
brothers, E.H. and L.C. Anderson, who became the second and third principals of
the young and struggling college. (HBCUnetwork.com, 2008)
Founded in a suburb of Petersburg, VA. and becomes America's first fully
state-supported, four-year institution of higher learning for Blacks.
Virginia State University has a long history of outstanding faculty and
administration. The first person to bear the title of President, John Mercer
Langston, was one of the best-known blacks of his day. Until 1992, he was the
only black ever elected to the United States Congress from Virginia (elected in
1888), and he was the great-uncle of the famed writer Langston Hughes.
Southern University and A&M College began in 1880 as the result of a
movement in Louisiana for an equal opportunity institution of higher learning
sponsored in the 1879 Louisiana State Constitutional Convention by four African
American delegates. Originally located in New Orleans, it was later reorganized
to receive national land-grant funds and moved north of Baton Rouge in what was
then Scotlandville, Louisiana, in 1914. Today, Southern University is part of
the nation's only historically Black Land Grant university system in the U.S.
College was founded as Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary by Sophia B. Packard and
Harriet E. Giles in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church on April 11,
1881. It moved to its present day site in 1883, were it occupied nine
acres and five frame buildings. In 1884 the school’s name changed
to Spelman Seminary in honor of Mrs. Laura Spelman Rockefeller and her parents
Harvey Buel and Lucy Henry Spelman. Spelman College was incorporated and
granted their charter by the state of Georgia in 1888. The first college
degrees were granted in 1901 to Jane Anna Granderson and Claudia T.
White. The schools name was officially changed to Spelman College in 1924
and was accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in
1958 (Spelman College, 2004).
University was founded in a one-room shanty, near Butler Chapel AME Zion
Church. Credit for the founding of the university goes to George Campbell
and Lewis Adams. W.F. Foster was a candidate for re-election to the
Alabama Senate and approached Lewis Adams about the support of
African-Americans in Macon County. In exchange for Adams securing the
black vote for Foster, he told Foster he wanted an educational institution for
his people. Foster carried out his end of the bargain and legislation was
passed for the establishment of a “Negro Normal School in Tuskegee”.
During Booker T. Washington’s tenure, the institution gained independence in
1881 and was granted authority to act independent of the state of
Alabama. Tuskegee University is well known for the Tuskegee Airman
flight-training program. Tuskegee attained University status in 1985
(Tuskegee University, 2008).
State Normal College for Colored Students became Florida A&M University
Agricultural and Mechanical University, founded on October 3, 1887, as the
State Normal College for Colored Students. In 1891, the college received
$7,500 under the Second Morrill Act for agricultural and mechanical arts
education. It became Florida’s land grand institution for African-Americans
(Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 2008).