United States: Integration at historically black colleges and universities

United States: Integration at historically black colleges and universities
The process of racial desegregation in American public and private colleges and universities

U. S. Supreme Court Justices 1953

Although the Declaration of Independence stated that “All men are created equal,” due to the institution of slavery and enslaving Africans, this statement was not to be grounded in law in the United States until after the Civil War (and, arguably, not completely fulfilled for many years thereafter). In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified and finally put an end to slavery. Moreover, the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) strengthened the legal rights of newly freed formerly enslaved Africans by stating, among other things, that no state shall deprive anyone of either “due process of law” or of the “equal protection of the law.” Finally, the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) further strengthened the legal rights of newly freed slaves by prohibiting states from denying anyone the right to vote due to race.

Despite these Amendments, African Americans were often treated differently than whites in many parts of the country, especially in the South. In fact, many state legislatures enacted laws that led to the legally mandated segregation of the races. In other words, the laws of many states decreed that blacks and whites could not use the same public facilities, ride the same buses, attend the same schools, etc.

Plessy v. Ferguson 1896
Although many people felt that these laws were unjust, it was not until the 1890s that they were directly challenged in court. In 1892, an African-American man named Homer Plessy refused to give up his seat to a white man on a train in New Orleans, as he was required to do by Louisiana state law. For this action he was arrested. Plessy, contending that the Louisiana law separating blacks from whites on trains violated the “equal protection clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, decided to fight his arrest in court. By 1896, his case had made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. By a vote of 8-1, the Supreme Court ruled against Plessy. The age of the American Apartheid began known as Jim Crow. In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. The lone dissenter, Justice John Marshal Harlan, interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment another way, stated, “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.”

Murray v. Maryland 1936
Disappointed that the University of Maryland School of Law was rejecting black applicants solely because of their race, beginning in 1933 Thurgood Marshall (who was himself rejected from this law school because of its racial acceptance policies) decided to challenge this practice in the Maryland court system. Before a Baltimore City Court in 1935, Marshall argued that Donald Gaines Murray was just as qualified as white applicants to attend the University of Maryland’s School of Law and that it was solely due to his race that he was rejected. Furthermore, he argued that since the “black” law schools which Murray would otherwise have to attend were nowhere near the same academic caliber as the University’s law school, the University was violating the principle of “separate but equal.” Moreover, Marshall argued that the disparities between the “white” and “black” law schools were so great that the only remedy would be to allow students like Murray to attend the University’s law school. The Baltimore City Court agreed and the University then appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals. In 1936, the Court of Appeals also ruled in favor of Murray and ordered the law school to admit him.

Brown v. Board
The Supreme Court ruling on the Oliver Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas ended legal segregation in public schools in the United States. All of the Supreme Court Justices agreed to support a unanimous decision declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional. On May 14, 1954 Justice Warren delivered the opinion of the Court.

Source: Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary

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Segregation in the United States did only impact white only institutions of higher education. Segregation forced the creation of black only institutions of higher education. But, not all institutions for higher education were founded to be Black only, such as Howard University. 

We often hear of the desegregation process at the formerly all white colleges and universities but, not the desegregation of the historically black colleges and universities. Here are just a few example articles as printed during the times these events occurred. 

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Many of the following articles are from the recent past:

Howard University
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General Oliver O. Howard is the founder of the university and was at the time the president of the “Freedman’s Bureau.” He along with the First Congregational Society created an institution to teach theology to African American clergymen and it expanded into Liberal Arts and Medicine. Although the intent was to “uplift African Americans, especially those recently freed from slavery” the university was open to all races and both sexes. On May 1, 1867, Howard University opened with 5 white female students.

1867 Howard University Charter

1867 Howard University

1867 Howard University

1868 Howard University
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Hampton University
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1936 Hampton

1939 Hampton

1940 Hampton

1947 Hampton
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Bethune-Cookman University
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1954 Bethune Cookman

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Virginia State University
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1954 Virginia State

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Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)
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1955 Lincoln University PA

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San Antonio College
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1955 Texas

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West Virginia State Univeresity
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1955 West Virginia State

1955 West Virginia State

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1956 Enrollment at historically black colleges
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1956 Black Colleges

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Kentucky State University
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1956 Kentucky State

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Lincoln University (Missouri)
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1956 Lincoln University Missouri

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Allen University
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1957 Allen University

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North Carolina A&T State University
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1957 North Carolina A&T

1957 North Carolina A&T

1957 North Carolina A&T
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Tuskegee University
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1957 Tuskegee State control

1959 Tuskegee funding test

1959 Tuskegee

1961 Tuskegee Funding

1967 Tuskegee Funding

1967 Tuskegee Funding

1967 Tuskegee

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Morehouse College
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1961 Morehouse Ebony

1961 Morehouse Ebony

1978 Morehouse

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Savannah State University
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1963 Savannah State

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Stillman College
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1968 Stillman
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This is how “Historically Black Colleges and Universities” (HBCUs) became the “branding”
https://dilemma-x.net/2015/03/09/this-is-how-historical-black-colleges-and-universities-hbcus-became-the-branding/

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