Historically Black Colleges and Universities

When were the majority of HBCUs founded?

Before the Civil War, three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were founded—the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) in 1837; Ashmun Institute, later known as Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (1854); and Wilberforce University in Ohio in 1856. Most HBCUs, however, were founded in the years immediately following the Civil War. An impetus for their establishment was given by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, for now slavery was abolished and blacks had full citizenship; this meant that they could pursue higher education. Independent philanthropists, religious denominations, and philanthropic organizations were crucial in establishing these institutions. Among these institutions, Morehouse College (est. 1867) in Atlanta retained its identity over the years as an all-male institution. Spelman College (est. 1881) in Atlanta survived as an institution established to educate African-American women. Bennett College (est. 1873) in Greensboro admitted male students at one time but is now a women’s college and known as Bennett College for Women. There were 105 HBCUs in 1913, including two-year, four-year, and professional schools.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy African American History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App