By Amandeep T.
Education plays the most prominent role in building the foundation of a child’s future. Apart from studies, education helps us to discover ourselves and ultimately make us into responsible citizens.
Following are 17 years that marked important milestones regarding educational opportunities for Black Americans, starting in the mid 1800s.
Richard Humphreys laid the foundation of the first Institute for Colored Youth, which later became Cheyney University.
John Miller Dickey and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson, founded the Ashmun Institute, the first school of higher learning for young black men. In 1866, its name was changed to Lincoln University.
Wilberforce University, the first school of higher learning owned and run by African-Americans, was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its president, Daniel A. Payne, became the first African-American university president in the nation.
Howard University founded the first school for black students in the country.
The Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church founded the first black medical school in the U.S, Meharry Medical College.
Spelman College was founded by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles. It was the first college for black women in the nation.
Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute was founded by Booker T. Washington, one of the higher leading institutes for African-Americans during its time.
At Howard University, William Leo Hansberry taught the first course on African Civilization.
The United Negro College Fund was founded by Frederick Douglass to support black colleges and black students.
The Supreme Court rules unanimously that segregation in public schools in unconstitutional in the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
The Little Rock Nine were the first black students to attend the all-white Central High School.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded, which played an essential role ined the fight against segregation and discrimination.
The University of Mississippi registered its first black student, James Meredith. When he entered the university, he was escorted by the U.S. marshals.
Vivian Malone and James Hood register for classes at the University of Alabama, despite the fact that Governor George Wallace tried to physically block them.
San Francisco State University establishes the first black studies department at a four-year university.
In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s affirmative action policy.
The percentage of all 18- to 24-year-old African Americans enrolled in higher education increases to 32.6% from 21.2% in 1988.
President Obama signs an executive order creating the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The initiative is intended to improve the educational achievement of African Americans and make sure they are given the opportunity to complete high school, college, and embark on a productive career.