Higher Education for African American Students

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  • Topic: African American, Historically black colleges and universities, Oliver O. Howard
  • Pages : 4 (1418 words )
  • Download(s) : 99
  • Published : March 10, 2012
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Prior to the Civil War, higher education for African American students was nearly nonexistent. The small percentage who did receive education, such as Thurgood Marshall, often studied in informal and sometimes aggressive settings. Some were forced to educate themselves completely. Some schools for elementary and secondary training existed, such as the Institute for Colored Youth, a school started in the early 1830’s by a group of Philadelphia Quakers. A college education was also offered to a limited number of scholars at schools like Oberlin College in Ohio and Berea College in Kentucky. Between 1861 and 1870, the American Missionary Association (AMA) founded seven black colleges and 13 normal (teaching) schools. Many of these institutions, along with the private historical black colleges and universities founded later by the AMA, the Freedmen’s Bureau, and black churches, became the backbone of black higher education, producing African American leaders for generations to come.(www.collegeview.com) In the years succeeding the Civil War, with the 13th Amendment’s abolition of slavery and reconstruction in the South, things began to change. “In November 1866, shortly after the end of the Civil War, members of the First Congregational Society of Washington considered establishing a theological seminary for the education of African-American clergymen. Within a few weeks, the concept expanded to include a provision for establishing a University. Within two years, the University consisted of the colleges of Liberal Arts and Medicine. The new institution was named for General Oliver O. Howard, a Civil War hero who was both a founder of the University and, at the same time, commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau”.(www.howard.edu) Beginning the research of Howard University in Washington District of Columbia showed from the start that this was a special university and that there were special circumstances surrounding it. This University seemed to be born out of the...
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