In 2016 for my Black History 365 series, I explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than be stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts
I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.
If you have any other sources or additional information for this topic, please share in the comments. I also welcome any and all comments and discussion. Thanks for reading!
For today’s entry:
1863: First college owned and operated by African Americans: Wilberforce University in Ohio
Wilberforce University is a private, coed, liberal arts historically black university (HBCU) located in Wilberforce, Ohio. Affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, it was the first college to be owned and operated by African Americans. It participates in the United Negro College Fund.
The founding of the college was unique as a collaboration in 1856 by the Cincinnati, Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). They planned a college to provide classical education and teacher training for black youth. Leaders of both races made up the first board members.
When the number of students fell due to the American Civil War and financial losses closed the college in 1863, the AME Church purchased the institution to ensure its survival. Its first president, AME Bishop Daniel A. Payne, was one of the original founders. Prominent supporters and the US government donated funds for rebuilding after a fire in 1865. When the college added an industrial department in the late 19th century, state legislators could sponsor scholarship students.
The college attracted the top professors of the day, including W. E. B. Du Bois. In the 19th century, it enlarged its mission to include students from South Africa. The university supports the national Association of African American Museums to broaden the reach of its programs and assist smaller museums with professional standards.
- Staff (2009-03-13). “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- “Wilberforce University: Yesterday and Today”. Wiberforce University. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
- “NASA Education Facility Opens at Wilberforce University”. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Archived from the original on November 16, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
- Campbell (1995), Songs of Zion, p. 263
- Talbert, Horace (2000). “The Sons of Allen: Together with a Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio 1906”.Documenting the South. University of North Carolina. pp. 264–265, 273. RetrievedJuly 25, 2008.
- James T. Campbell, Songs of Zion, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, pp. 259–260, accessed Jan 13, 2009
- Talbert (1906), Sons of Allen, p. 267
- Horace Talbert, The Sons of Allen: Together with a Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, 1906, p. 273,Documenting the South, 2000, University of North Carolina, accessed Jul 25, 2008
- “Wilberforce University’s Administration of the Title IV, Higher Education Act Programs: Final Audit Report” (PDF).
- “Library”. Wilberforce University. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
- “Golf Pioneer Dies”. Morning Journal News. Jan 2, 2010.
- O’Neal Parker, Lonnae. “A tender spot in master-slave relations”. Washington Post. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- Nelson, Samantha. “Dolen Perkins-Valdez: Wench”. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- “Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Awards (1994–Present)”. Infoplease. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- Perkins-Vadez, Dolen (2010). Wench. Amistad. ASIN B004NE8RZ4.
- Wilberforce University Official Website
- Wilberforce University Official Athletics Website
- Horace Talbert, The Sons of Allen: Together with a Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, 1906, Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina