History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Part of the The Arts in Higher Education book series (AHE)


It is in this chapter that the researcher provides a thorough understanding of what historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are, why and how they came to exist, the unique nature of their original missions, and the ongoing struggles facing these schools. This historical account includes slave uprisings prior to abolition, the abolition of slavery and the aftermath thereof, the development of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and the involvement of religion on the development of HBCUs. It addresses the development of Jim Crow laws and the first and second Morrill Acts, establishing and funding land-grant institutions. The chapter follows the initial and ongoing influences of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois on the development of HBCUs, and similarly follows the influences of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) on black institutions of higher learning.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Visual and Performing ArtsWinthrop UniversityRock HillUSA

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