#Lucy Craft Laney, or “Miss Lucy,” was Georgia’s most famous female African American educator in 1883 through the early 1900s. #Laney was an early African-American educator who founded the school for black children in Augusta, Georgia. She served as the principal for the Haines Institute for Industrial and Normal Education for 50 years.
Laney was one of ten children born to Louisa and David Laney. She was born free, because her father who was at one time a slaved had saved enough money to buy his freedom and that of his wife years earlier. At the time of her birth it was illegal for blacks to read; however with the assistance of Ms. Campbell, the slave owner’s sister, she learned to read at age four. She attended a mission school run by the AMA.
At the age of 15, Laney enrolled at Atlanta University in 1869, where she prepared to be a teacher. She worked as a teacher before decided to open her own school. She founded the first school for black children in Augusta, Georgia. Laney’s first class in 1883 was six children, but by the end of her second year of children over 234 wanted to enroll. She also founded the first kindergarten, and she also opened a training center so that black women could train as nurses.