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“Young, Gifted, and Black”: A Blog Series on Historically Black Colleges and Universities


Coeds from A & T College in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1951.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been instrumental in educating African Americans for more than 150 years. Each HBCU has a unique origin that reflects the broader history of African American education in the United States. There is a dichotomy that exists regarding the legacies of HBCUs, while these institutions produced and educated some of the most prominent and gifted African American scholars, thinkers, activists, and professionals during the first half of the 20th century, their presence also highlighted how African Americans could not gain admittance to traditionally white universities until the dismantling of Jim Crow in the 1950s and 1960s. After the Civil War, African American education flourished and many HBCUs were established all across the South to educate freed slaves. HBCUs were founded to address the lack of educational opportunities African Americans were faced with after emancipation. More than one hundred of these schools still continue today.

The cover of The Register, the school newspaper of A & T College, 1954.

In celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Amistad will feature an HBCU found in our African American School Newspaper collection every week from January 16, 2018 until April 30, 2018. The African American School Newspaper collection at the Amistad Research Center consists of rare school newspapers and periodicals that exhibit the rich histories of HBCUs. The collection has a total of 160 titles from 121 African American community colleges, universities, and law and medical schools. The collection is valuable to those interested in African American education in the South during the early 20th century, and it can be a valuable resource to alumni groups. We hope you enjoy our blog series on HBCUs. You might recognize some alumni in the stories and newspaper articles that will be shared.

Images from Amistad’s African American School Newspaper collection. Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.

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