Initiating Black Colleges

  • Prosperity
  • 1837

America’s 106 historically black colleges played a major role in improving the status and social contributions of our black citizens. The very first of these, Pennsylvania’s Cheyney University, was launched by the philanthropy of Quaker Richard Humphreys. At his death he bequeathed $10,000 and asked 13 of his fellow Quakers to use it to “instruct the descendants of the African race in school learning, in the various branches of the mechanic arts, trades, and agriculture, in order to prepare and fit and qualify them to act as teachers.” The school opened in Philadelphia offering a classical higher education for free.

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