Germinating a Black Intelligentsia

  • Vida L. Avery
Part of the Philanthropy and Education book series (PHILAED)


As John Hope’s above remark conveys, it took 64 years after the Civil War for blacks in Atlanta to reach this milestone in higher education. Newspapers and magazine articles reported news of the affiliation nationally and internationally. The coverage not only explained the affiliation and John Hope as its leader, but also explained the affiliation’s effect on black higher education, the nation, and even race relations.2 H. S. Murphy editorialized in The Independent:

There is that in him which reminds us of the scholars of the older days; the men who dignified and even mystified their learning in such a manner that their students felt that when they crossed the threshold of that teacher’s sanctorum, they were treading on holy ground.

John Hope’s respect for sound scholarship and its outer accompaniments with out laying undue stress on empty honor or appearance has raised him high in the estimation of these who enjoy a democracy of brotherhood.

The consolidation of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges with Atlanta University means more people, more business for our merchants, more traffic for the railroads and street cars, and more work for labor. It means that the money now being spent in the North for professional, university, and higher technical education by the Negro will be spent at the home in the graduate department of the big university system.3


High Education Time Black Institution Funeral Service Morehouse College Negro Education 
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  1. 7.
    Ridgely Torrence, The Story of John Hope, with an introduction by Rayford Logan (New York: Arno and The New York Times, 1948.Google Scholar
  2. Reprint, New York: Arno and The New York Times, 1969), 302; Clarence A. Bacote, The Story of Atlanta University: A Century of Service, 1865–1965 (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969), 270;Google Scholar
  3. and Edward A. Jones, A Candle in the Dark: A History of Morehouse College (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Judson, 1967), 116, 120.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Torrence, Story of John Hope, 302. See Bacote, Story of Atlanta University, 270; Leroy Davis, A Clashing of the Soul: John Hope and the Dilemma of African American Leadership and Black Higher Education in the Early Twentieth Century, with a foreword by John Hope Franklin (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1998), 316.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Jones, Candle in the Dark, 120; Florence M. Read, The Story of Spelman College (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1961), 239; and Bacote, Story of Atlanta University, 270.Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    Read, Story of Spelman College, 235; Raymond B. Fosdick, Henry F. Pringle, and Katherine Douglas Pringle, Adventures in Giving: The Story of the General Education Board (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 276–278.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    James P. Brawley, The Clark College Legacy: An Interpretive History of Relevant Education, 1869–1975, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969), 104.Google Scholar
  8. 25.
    Jones, Candle in the Dark, 125; John Hope Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes, 2nd ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964), 536.Google Scholar
  9. 54.
    Ibid.; Arthur Klein, Survey of Negro Colleges and Universities, 2nd ed. (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1929; reprinted 1969), 259.Google Scholar

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© Vida L. Avery 2013

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  • Vida L. Avery

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