Washington D. C. - A gathering of white church members met to create a school for missionaries in the South and Africa. It began as a Seminary.
Later, Major General Oliver Otis Howard was brought into the plan. Howard was known as a christian fundamentalist and was head of the Freedmen's Bureau.
On March 2, 1867, a Charter was approved by Congress. It was signed into law by President Andrew Johnson. This Act created Howard University.
On May 1, 1867, Howard University opened its doors to students. The first students were all white women. Two were daughters of the founders.
The initial reason for the school was to train black preachers. However, all were allowed to attend. Over 100,000 freed black people were served by the school.
Howard University is still in operation, as of 2021.
Act to Establish The Howard University
Origin of The Howard University
Howard University history
New Canton, Virginia - Carter G. Woodson was born to Anne Eliza (Riddle) and James Henry Woodson. Both his parents were born into slavery. Woodson was an American historian, author, and journalist.
Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora. His work in American history recognized black Americans as more than subjects of white supremacy.
In 1926, Woodson created Negro History Week. It preceded Black History Month.
Tuskegee, Alabama - Tuskegee University began as the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers. It came from an agreement between a former Confederate Colonel, W.F. Foster, and a local black leader, Lewis Adams.
Foster sought to keep his office, in the 1880 election. He promised Adams a school for black people, if he delivered the black vote.
Adams delivered. Foster kept his promise. The State of Alabama passed a law for what would become Tuskegee University.
George W. Campbell, a former slave owner, recruited Booker T. Washington as principal. Washington held that position from July 4, 1881 until he died, in 1915.
Union Springs, Alabama - John Henrik Clarke was born, on this day. His father was a sharecropper. His mother was a domestic worker.
Clarke pioneered American study of black nationalism and Africana studies. For this, Clarke was called 'The Master Teacher' for his scholarly lectures. An unmatched knowledge of the historical record of black people, gained Clarke respect around the world.
In many lectures, Clarke rejected anti-black racist propaganda. Much of this was taught in United States schools as fact. Instead, Clarke taught true and factual accounts, of American and African history.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi - Amos Wilson was a black American psychologist, social theorist, scholar, and author. Wilson was a professor of psychology at the City University of New York.
Wilson was a key voice on the condition of black Americans in a white-dominated society, during the late 1980s, until his death in 1995.
Tuskegee, Alabama - George Washington Carver died, on this day. Carver was a black American agricultural scientist and inventor.
Carver promoted alternative crops to cotton. His best known work was with peanuts. Carver published 105 food recipes using peanuts.
As a botanist, Carver worked on methods to prevent soil depletion.
Washington, D. C. - The United States Supreme Court decided school segregation of students was illegal. Ir was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Brown was not the only school segregation case considered. It included cases from Kansas, Delaware, South Carolina, and Virginia. They were all rolled into one decision.
There was one key question. 'Does the racial segregation of children in school deprive them of an equal education?' The U. S. Supreme Court decided yes.
It was not until the 1960s, that schools began to desegregate in number. The process was slow by 1965 and was never fully realized. Schools are still very segregated.
Whites challenged integration and protested. White parents left integrated schools, as 'bad' schools. Or, whites called neighborhoods 'bad' if there were too many black children.
A tragedy of the decision is that it destroyed all-black schools. By the time of the decision, many of these schools had unique cultures that catered to black students. That disappeared.
Many black teachers, principals, and administrators lost their jobs. White schools rarely hired them. If black people were hired, it was into a hostile setting. They were undermined by white teachers, administrators, school boards, and the white students.
Today, the damage of this decision is seen today. When the students are mostly black, the hand giving the grade, is often white (or at least not black). It has led to decades of poor performance, low graduation rates, and high delinquency.
Little Rock, Arkansas - Nine black teenagers were to attend the all-white Central High School. An angry white mob and the National Guard stopped them from going to school.
The United States Supreme Court ruled that exclusions based on race had no legal effect. On September 3, 1957, a Federal judge ruled that the students had instant access to attend classes at the then all-white school. Despite this, the Arkansas Governor blocked the black students from the school.
One of the black students, Elizabeth Eckford, tried to go to the school. She recalled what happened that day. 'They moved closer and closer. ... Somebody started yelling. ... I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd—someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face. But, when I looked at her again, she spat on me.'
Little Rock, Arkansas - Federal troops guarded black students as they went to an all-white high school. An angry mob of whites waited for them, as they entered Central High School. Angry whites were there when they left the school. The United Staets Army 101st Airborne helped the black students attend classes safely.
Washington, D. C. - Gerald Ford was the first United States President to recognize February was Black History Month. Every year since, every President has confirmed this tradition.
Black History Month