More on African-American education milestones

African-American education milestones

The list below traces the development of African-American educational provision during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

  • 1837 The Institute for Colored (sic) Youth is founded by Richard Humphreys
  • 1854 The Ashmun Institute, the first school of higher learning for young black men, is founded by John Miller Dickey and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson. After the Civil War it was re-named Lincoln University in honour of President Abraham Lincoln
  • 1856 Wilberforce University, the first black school of higher learning owned and operated by African-Americans, is founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its president, Daniel A. Payne, was the first African-American University president in the United States
  • 1869 Howard University's Law School becomes the country's first black law school
  • 1876 Meharry Medical College is founded by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is the first black medical school in America
  • 1881 Spelman College, the first American college for black women is founded by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles. Alice Walker attends this college in 1961
  • 1881 Booker T. Washington founds the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. The school became one of the leading schools of higher learning for African-Americans, and stressed the practical application of knowledge
  • 1922 William Leo Hansberry teaches the first course in African civilization at an American university, at Howard University
  • 1944 Frederick Douglass Patterson establishes the United Negro College Fund to help support black colleges and black students
  • 1954 The Supreme Court rules unanimously that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional
  • 1957 President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends federal troops to ensure integration of the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ‘Little Rock Nine’ are the first black students to attend the school
  • 1960 Black and white students form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), dedicated to working against segregation and discrimination
  • 1962 James Meredith is the first black student to enrol at the University of Mississippi; on the day he enters the university, he is escorted by U.S. marshals
  • 1963 Despite Governor George Wallace physically blocking their way, Vivian Malone and James Hood register for classes at the University of Alabama
  • 1968 San Francisco State University becomes the first four-year college to establish a black studies department
  • 1969 The Ford Foundation gives $1million to Morgan State University, Howard University and Yale University to help prepare faculty members to teach courses in African-American studies
  • 2008 The percentage of all 18 to 24 year-old African-Americans enrolled in higher education increases to 32.6% from 21.2% in 1988.
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