Every February we celebrate Black History Month. Typically, we hear a lot about important Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and those instrumental to the anti-slavery movement such as Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Tubman. Ed4Credit would like to take this opportunity to focus on seven important African Americans who may be lesser-known, but helped shape education in some significant ways.
Here is a list of some African-American leaders who made an impact in education.
1. Nathan Hare
Nathan Hare became the first program coordinator of the Black Studies program at San Francisco State College. The program was the first of its kind in the country. He earned the title “Father of Black Studies.”
Alexander Twilight was the first African-American to earn a bachelor's degree. He graduated in 1823 from Middlebury College. He later became the first African-American to serve in the state legislature.
Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in 1881. A black school in Alabama that was created to help train public school teachers. Washington also founded the National Negro Business League in 1901.
4. Daniel Payne
Daniel Payne founded the first place of higher learning for African-Americans in the U.S. He founded Wilberfource University in 1856.
W.E.B Du Bois was a founding officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also taught at Wilberfource University and Atlanta University. In 1903 he released a collection of essays called Souls of Black Folk.
Inez Prosser became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. She received her doctorate in Psychology at the University of Cincinnati in 1933. Sadly though a year later she was killed in a car accident.
At the age of 26, Nannie Burroughs founded the National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls in Washington D.C. The focused on teaching both professional vocational skills, courses were taught and the high school and junior college level. The school was later renamed the Nannie Burroughs School after her death in 1961.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” -MLK