Black Colleges, Founding of

The end of the Civil War forced the United States to grapple with integrating Black freedmen and freedwomen into the social order, and reformers turned to education as the primary mechanism through which that integration would occur. This entry describes the diverse values that shaped Black colleges founded in the decades following the Civil War. It also examines the ways in which those values were shaped by the individuals and organizations who contributed financial support for their establishment.

The Reconstruction Era constitutions of southern states mandated the creation of schools for all youth, and the newly created Black colleges focused on teacher training to staff the Black elementary and secondary schools in the various states. Because these colleges had the responsibility of educating these teachers and ...

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