Education

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Shaw University

Shaw University

Shaw University

Shaw University, founded as Raleigh Institute, is a private liberal arts institution and historically black university (HBCU) in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. Founded in 1865, it is the oldest HBCU in the Southern United States.

Shaw University is affiliated with the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and a member of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. which supports the Shaw University Divinity School. Along with Howard University, Hampton University, Lincoln University, PA and Virginia Union University, Shaw was a co-founding member of the NCAA Division II’s Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Conference, the oldest African American athletic association in the U.S. The university has won CIAA championships in Football, Basketball (women’s and men’s), and Men’s Tennis.

The University won a 5-year grant with University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to create a Partnership for the Elimination of Health Disparities for minorities, and a 7-year grant with Johns Hopkins University for Gerontological Research. In 2007, Shaw received $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation to support its Nanoscience and Nanotechnology program. In 2004, Shaw University received $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education to develop an Upward Bound Program.

Autherine Lucy Foster

Autherine Lucy Foster

Autherine Lucy Foster

Autherine Juanita Lucy was the first black student to attend the University of Alabama, in 1956. She was born on October 5, 1929 in Shiloh, Alabama and graduated from Linden Academy in 1947. She went on to attend Selma University in Selma, and the all-black Miles College in Fairfield – where she graduated with a BA in English in 1952.

Later in 1952, at the encouragement of and along with a Miles classmate, Pollie Ann Myers, she decided to attend the University of Alabama as a graduate student but, knowing that admission would be difficult due to the University’s admission policies, she and Myers approached the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for help. Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, and Arthur Shores were assigned to be their attorneys. While they started preparing her case, she worked as a secretary. Court action began in July 1953.  Continue reading

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Alex Miller (December 5, 1912 – May 25, 1965), known professionally as Sonny Boy Williamson, was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, from Mississippi. He is acknowledged as one of the most charismatic and influential blues musicians, with considerable prowess on the harmonica and creative songwriting skills. He recorded successfully in the 1950s and 1960s, and had a direct influence on later blues and rock performers.

His head stone found in or near Tutwiler, Mississippi, lists his name as Aleck Miller, his birth date as March 11, 1908 and his date of death as June 23, 1965.

Theodore S. Wright

Theodore S. Wright

Theodore S. Wright

Theodore S. Wright (1797-1847) was an African-American abolitionist and minister who was active in New York City, where he led the First Colored Presbyterian Church as its second pastor. He was the first African American to attend Princeton Theological Seminary (and any United States theological seminary), from which he graduated in 1829. In 1833 he was a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, and served on its executive committee until 1840.

Theodore Sedgwick Wright was born about 1797 to free parents. He is believed to have moved into New York City with his family, where he attended the African Free School.[1] With the aid of Governor DeWitt Clinton and Arthur Tappan of the New York Manumission Society, and men from Princeton Theological Seminary, Wright was aided in his studies at the graduate seminary. In 1829 he was the first African American to graduate from there, and the first to complete theological studies at a seminary in the United States.

Before 1833, Wright was called as the second minister of New York’s First Colored Presbyterian Church and served there the rest of his life. (It was later known as Shiloh Presbyterian Church and is now St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem.) He followed the founder, Samuel Cornish.  Continue reading

James H. Meredith

James H. Meredith

James H. Meredith

James H. Meredith, who in 1962 became the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi, is shot by a sniper shortly after beginning a lone civil rights march through the South. Known as the “March Against Fear,” Meredith had been walking from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, in an attempt to encourage voter registration by African Americans in the South.

A former serviceman in the U.S. Air Force, Meredith applied and was accepted to the University of Mississippi in 1962, but his admission was revoked when the registrar learned of his race. A federal court ordered “Ole Miss” to admit him, but when he tried to register on September 20, 1962, he found the entrance to the office blocked by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. On September 28, the governor was found guilty of civil contempt and was ordered to cease his interference with desegregation at the university or face arrest and a fine of $10,000 a day. Two days later, Meredith was escorted onto the Ole Miss campus by U.S. Marshals, setting off riots that resulted in the deaths of two students. He returned the next day and began classes. In 1963, Meredith, who was a transfer student from all-black Jackson State College, graduated with a degree in political science.  Continue reading

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