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Tracing the Evolution of History of Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) via U.S. History Lynne Murray Drexel University HE500 “Group” Project April 18, 2011
The purpose of studying the chronological history of Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) is to briefly review the basis of the establishment of HBCU’s and to illustrate the importance of these institutions to African-Americans. The timeline for this study ranges from antebellum slavery (1600s) to the new millennium. Various documents such as e-journals, books, and online resources were used to locate pertinent information regarding our nation’s HBCU’s. The timeline depicts vital events that explicates our nation’s historic events while simultaneously correlating to the establishment of HBCU’s; in addition, disparities regarding the need for HBCU’s will be conveyed. The findings will educate the reader by presenting salutary answers to frequently asked questions concerning HBCU’s. 2 Abstract
John F. Kennedy stated, “All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talent” (2011). During antebellum Civil War, the African slave was forbidden to read or obtain any form of education. Slaves were prohibited from receiving an education. They was constantly frightened of becoming the victim of a brutal whipping or tortured and lynched (if discovered that he or she was able to read). However, after the slaves were emancipated in 1865, the proliferation of Black colleges and universities provided an opportunity for the newly-freed African slave to receive an education.
The Higher Education Act of 1965: In order for a college to be listed as a Historical Black College and University, the college has to be established prior to 1964.
3 Introduction to HBCU’s
The role of the Africans between 1619 and 1640 is unclear as to whether or not they were brought to the American colony of Jamestown, VA as indentured slaves or as free-labor slaves.
Virginia, 1639: The African slave was exempt from governmental protection.
“By 1640, there was one African that was recorded as a free-labor slave in the Virginia colony” (PBS); In 1650, 300 slaves were reported.
1700s: Over one thousand slaves were kidnapped annually and brought to the Virginia colony.
4 Slavery Arrives to the New World (1625 – 1690)
1705: The Virginia General Assembly enacted a law that legally enslaved all servants who were not Christians in their native country.
The Slave Codes of 1705: Laws that governed a slave’s behavior because the white settlers in the colonies were afraid of slave uprisings. The laws stripped slaves from governmental protection, banned anyone from teaching slaves how to read or write, and prohibited slaves from marriage.
As the number of slaves increased in the new colonies in America, the laws governing their behaviors increased.
1790: As reported in the U.S. Census, “3.9 million people were counted in the first U.S. Census;” slaves were not included in the enumeration as they were considered chattel; the U.S. Constitution of 1776 regarded slaves as three-fifths of a man.
5 Slavery Declared Legal in the Virginia Colony
A number of slaveholders preferred their slaves to be educated; literate slaves could serve as record keepers for the plantation.
The slaves who were allowed to learn had a limited amount of time as their labor demands diminished the amount of time available for learning.
“House-slaves,” freed people of color, and often the children sired by the slaveholder were typically the privileged ones to receive an education.
South Carolina, 1743: Anglican ministers established and operated a school for slaves for over twenty years. “For over twenty years the school offered instruction in Christian religion and education under the guidance of a slave schoolmaster” (Sambol-Tosco 2004).
6 Colonial &Antebellum Eras: Educating the African Slave
Contrary to the southern states, it was not illegal to educate slaves in the northern states. Kimberly Sambol-Tosco wrote, “Quakers played an important part elevating literacy rates among Northern blacks by rigorously promoting education programs in the years before and after the Revolutionary War.”
HBCU’s in the Antebellum Years:
The majority of HBCUs were established after the Civil War; however, the following three universities were established twenty-six years before the end of the Civil War:
Cheyney University: Richard Humphrey’s, a Quaker philanthropist, founded the Institute for Colored Youth to train free blacks to become teachers” (Coleman) in 1837. The school was first located in Philadelphia then moved to Cheyney, Pennsylvania in 1902. 7 Colonial &Antebellum Eras: Educating the African Slave
2. Lincoln University: Ashmun Institute, “was "the first institution found anywhere in the world to provide a higher education in the arts and sciences for male youth of African descent"’ (Lincoln University). The school was chartered in 1854. In 1866, the Institute changed its name to Lincoln University after Abraham Lincoln. The late honorable Justice Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes and Kwame Nkrumah are graduates of Lincoln University. 3. Wilberforce University: Wilberforce University was founded in 1856 by William Wilberforce who was an abolitionist. The school’s financial status declined due to the inception of the Civil War; as a result, the school closed in 1862. “Bishop Daniel A. Payne of the African Methodist Episcopal Church negotiated to purchase the University's facilities” (Wilberforce University); thus, Wilberforce reopened in 1863. Cheyney, Lincoln and Wilberforce Universities are considered to be the nation’s first HBCU’s. 8 HBCU’s in the Antebellum Years
The Proliferation of HBCU’s When HBCUs were first established, the newly freed slaves did not receive a post-secondary education. Contrary, the ex-slaves received an elementary and secondary education. By the early 1900s, the teachings at the HBCU’s evolved into a post-secondary instruction. Most of these schools provided a “teaching” education. Since African-Americans were barred from attending white institutions, the responsibility of teaching other African-Americans fell upon their own race; hence, many HBCU graduates advanced to a teaching profession. 1865 – 1870: Twenty-six HBCU’s opened. 1871 – 1900: Fifty-Two HBCU’s opened. 1901 – 1950: Twenty-Three HBCU’s opened. 1952 – 1975: Seven HBCU’s opened. Note: Although two of the schools were founded after 1964 (Southern University at Shreveport and Morehouse School of Medicine), the two universities are not legally considered HBCU’s because they were opened after 1964.
Total HBCU’s by 1962: 106
W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington had two extremely different philosophies on the type of education for an African-American.
DuBois firmly believed that Booker T. Washington’s ideologies did not provide upward progression for African-Americans. In addition, DuBois opposed Washington’s principles as he believed that Washington’s theories stifled African-American’s progress by remaining in the south.
DuBois believed that college-educated African-Americans would help to advance the Black race by studying course work on the liberal arts track and not vocational or technical trades. He promoted the progression of the most “talented tenth” African-Americans via an arts and sciences education (Quick Tillery, 2003, p 10).
10 Vocational & Technical vs. Liberal Arts Education
1862: The Morrill Land Grant Act donated public land for colleges to build schools that were for agricultural and mechanical arts (Wennersten 1991). Mississippi’s Alcorn State University was the first and only HBCU to receive this grant.
1890: Morrill Land Grant Act was revised by making federal funds available to the newly freed slaves under the supposition of that the schools that were to be built would also benefit African-Americans. According to the Morrill Land Grant Act, “These 1890 land-grant institutions would provide much needed public school instruction for black children and train black teachers for the segregated public school systems in the region” (Wennersten, 1991, p 54). As a result, sixteen land grant colleges were established.
11 Land Grant College Act
Post Civil War: African-Americans faced violent opposition from southern whites as the proliferation of HBCUs increased. African-Americans were subjected to attending HBCU’s because they were prohibited from enrolling into the white universities.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) emphatically challenged the federal courts for equal rights in state facilities for African-Americans during the 1930s.
Thurgood Marshall and Charles Houston who were lawyers for the NAACP “argued that equal education was a constitutional right of black Americans and essential to their legal equality and economic welfare” (Quick Tillery, 2004).
12 Opposition to African-Americans and Education; Segregation/Jim Crow Eras;
The creation of the GI Bill enabled African-American war veterans the ability of attending school after their military tour ended.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was another federal decision that gave African-Americans the opportunity to earn an education
The Supreme Court’s decision of “separate but equal” opened doors for many African-Americans to obtain a professional education.
Ten HBCU’s that opened during the Reconstruction Era and 1905closed its doors between 1924 and 1988 for various financial reasons: 13 Federal Government and HBCUs/HBCU’s Closings
HBCU’s produce more African-American professional graduates than predominately white colleges and universities.
2011: HBCU’s are still considered to be an important option for African-Americans. HBCU’s continue to be a familial tradition in many households.
The defense for larger, white institutions to receive more money than a HBCU (and other smaller schools) is that the sports activities and research programs of the white institutions necessitate a larger budget.
Myth: HBCU’s are segregated schools
Fact: HBCU’s are “predominately Black” schools; the schools have a very diverse ethnic student body. 14 Notable HBCU Information/HBCU’s Today Accomplishments & Challenges
Myth: HBCU’s should no longer exist because they promote segregation.
Fact: HBCU’s do not promote segregation. The percentage of Private White Institution’s (PWI) African-American student body is as low as HBCU’s Caucasian student body. HBCU’s have never banned another race from enrolling in one of their institutions. Whereas, PWI’s racially discriminated against African-Americans from the Colonial Era until 1954 (Brown vs. Board of Education).
Graduation rates are higher for African-Americans that attend a HBCU than those who attend a predominately white institution. Robin White Goode (2011) writes, “In spite of the nurturing HBCUs provide their students, their graduation rates are lower (about 38%) than that of Black students who attend traditionally White schools (about 46%).”
1701 Yale College Opens 1693 College of William & Mary Opens 1640 Virginia Colony: 1st African Declared as Free-Labor Slave 1650
Beginning of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (African Diaspora)
300 Slaves Reported in Virginia Colony
1700 Forced Migration of African Slaves (Over 1,0000 per year) 1636 Harvard College Opens 1607 Jamestown Settlement Founded in Virginia Colony 1746 College of New Jersey Opens 1705 Slave Codes Enacted A Historical Path to HBCU’S 1764 Rhode Island College Opens 1754: King’s College Opens 1766 Queen’s College Opens 1743-1763 South Carolina: Anglican Ministers taught slaves in a school. 1751 Philadelphia Academy Opens 1769 Dartmouth College Opens 1790 1st U.S. Census 1802 The Ohio Constitution outlaws slavery, but it also prohibits free blacks from voting 1807 Slave Importation is Banned in America July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence Signed 1834 South Carolina bans the teaching of enslaved & free black people. 1815 Abolitionist Levi Coffin (also affiliated with Guilford College) establishes the Underground Railroad. January 1, 1863 Lincoln signs The Emancipation Proclamation 1865 – 1870: 26 HBCU’s Opened. 1865 – 1877: Reconstruction Era 1867 – 1965: Jim Crow Era (Segregation Laws) 1871 – 1900: 52 HBCU’s Opened May 17, 1896: Plessy vs. Ferguson 1851: HBCU Univ. of District of Columbia Opens 1854: HBCU Lincoln Univ. Opens 1856: HBCU: Wilberforce Univ. Opens 1857: HBCU Harris–Stowe State Univ. Opens 1862: HBCU LeMoyne-Owen College Opens 1837
Martin Van Buren is Inaugurated
HBCU: Cheyney Univ. Opens
July 2, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed The Civil Rights Act 2010 President Obama Increases Funding for HBCUs ($98 Million for FY 2011) 1901 - 1950: 23 HBCU’s Opened 1936 - 1988: 10 HBCU’s Closed 1952 - 1962: 5 HBCU’s Opened 1954 – 1968: Civil Rights Movement February 1st, 1960: 4 NC A&T University Students launch the Sit-In Movement in Greensboro, NC January 20, 2008 President Obama is the first African-American to be inaugurated as President of the United States 1975 106 HBCU’s are Established February 26, 2010 President Obama Renews White House Initiative on HBCU's (Video)
References About Lincoln. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2011, from Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website: http://www.lincoln.edu/about.html About WU-History. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2011, from Wilberforce University website: http://www.wilberforce.edu/welcome/history.html Burnsed, J. (2010, December 23). More HBCUs Offer Online Degrees. U.S. Education, Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2010/12/23/more-hbcus-offer-online-degrees Census of Population and Housing 1790 Census. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2011, from U.S. Census Bureau website: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1790.html Coleman, D. C. (2011). The History of Historically Black Colleges & Universites. Retrieved April 12, 2011, from HBCUConnect.com website: http://hbcuconnect.com/history.shtml Fact Finder for the Nation, History and Organization (CFF-4). (2000, May). Retrieved from U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau website: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1790.html From Indentured Servitude to Racial Slavery. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2011, from PBS Online website: hhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1narr3.html Fuke, R. P. (1999). Imperfect Equality: African Americans and the Confines of White Ideology in Post-Emancipation Maryland. In P. Cimbala (Ed.), Planters, Apprenticeship, and Forced Labor: The Black Family Under Pressure in Post-emancipation Maryland (62 ed., Vol. 4, pp. 57-74). Agricultural History: Agricultural History. (Reprinted from The Freedmen's Bureau and Reconstruction Reconstructing America (Series) , Vol. 4, p. 288, by P. Cimbala & R. Miller, Eds., 1999, New York, NY: Fordham University Press)Jim Crow Entrenched: Unequal Funding of State-Operated Colleges in the South. (2002, Spring). The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 35, 8-10. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3133810 John F. Kennedy Quotations. (2007). Retrieved April 13, 2011, from Light a Fire: Education Quotes website: http://www.lightafire.com/quotations/authors/john-f-kennedy/ List of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. (2006). Retrieved April 11, 2011, from EDU, Inc website: http://www.eduinconline.com/HBCUs.html People & Events, Virginia Recognizes Slavery ,1661 - 1663. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2011, from PBS Online website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1p262.html Quick Tillery, C. (2003). Celebrating Our Equality. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corporation. Sambol-Tosco , K. (2004). Slavery and the Making of America, Education, Arts, & Culture. Retrieved April 12, 2011, from UNC-TV PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/experience/education/history2.html Smith, L. M. (2010, March). Obama Signs Order Boosting HBCU Funding. Black Enterprise, 54-62. Retrieved from http://www.blackenterprise.com/2010/03/01/obama-signs-order-boosting-hbcu-funding/ Strauss, V. (2010, November 26). Report on college attendance crisis for black males exaggerated. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/achievement-gap/report-on-college-attendance-c.html The Search for Equality, Brown v. Board of Education. (2004, May 13). Retrieved April 13, 2011, from The Evergreen State College website: http://www3.evergreen.edu/events/brownvboard/about-brown.html UNCF. (1999). Retrieved April 15, 2011, from The United Negro College Fund website: http://www.uncf.org/aboutus/hbcus.asp Wennersten, J. R. (1991, Spring). The Travail of Black Land-Grant Schools in the South, 1890-1917. Agricultural History, 65(2), 54-62. Retrieved from Wennersten, J. R. (1991, Spring). The Travail of Black Land-Grant Schools in the South, 1890-1917. Agricultural History, 65(2), 54-62. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3743707 16
References White Goode, R. (2011, February 15). The HBCU Debate: Are Black Colleges & Universities Still Needed? Black Enterprise, Retrieved from http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/02/15/are-hbcus-still-relevant/ White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. (2010, July 8). Retrieved April 13, 2011, from U.S. Department of Education website: http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/list/whhbcu/edlite-index.html Who We Are, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) ~ An Historical Overview. (1998). Retrieved April 16, 2011, from United Negro College Fund, Inc. website: http://www.uncf.org/aboutus/hbcus.asp 17