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date: 01 October 2020

Historically Black Colleges and Universities.locked

  • Crystal Renée Sanders


There are over one hundred historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, including public and private institutions, two-year and four-year schools, medical schools, law schools, and community colleges. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association.” The first HBCU, now called Cheyney University, was founded in Pennsylvania in 1837, although most black colleges were founded after the Civil War and are located in the South. In the twenty-first century Cheyney and all other HBCUs enroll students of every ethnicity and nationality.

Former slaves understood that education for blacks was the primary vehicle to achieve freedom Thus they lobbied for universal education and the creation of ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.

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