Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Why is Cheyney State sometimes considered the oldest black college in the United States?

Cheyney State College, sometimes referred to as the oldest black college in the United States, had its beginning in 1832. Richard Humphreys, a Philadelphia Quaker, willed $10,000 to a board of trustees to establish a school for blacks. A school for black boys was eventually established in 1839 and incorporated in 1842. The school became known as the Institute for Colored Youth in 1852. It reorganized in 1902 and moved to Cheyney, Pennsylvania, where it was renamed. It became a teacher training school in 1914 and a normal school in 1921, when it was purchased by the state. Since 1932 Cheyney State College (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) has been a degree-granting institution.

The campus at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Howard was the first historically black college established by an act of Congress.


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