HBCU Timeline: 1900 to 1975

Historically black colleges and universities in the 20th century

Mary McLeod Bethune with students of the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls
Mary McLeod Bethune with students of the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls.

World Digital Library/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

As the Jim Crow Era raged on, African-Americans in the South listened to the words of Booker T. Washington, who encouraged them to learn trades that would allow them to be self-sufficient in society.

It is interesting to note that in previous HBCU timelines, many religious organizations helped to establish institutions of higher learning. However, in the 20th Century, many states provided funds for the opening of schools.

HBCUs Founded Between 1900 and 1975

1900: The Colored High School is established in Baltimore. Today, it is known as Coppin State University.

1901: The Colored Industrial and Agricultural School is established in Grambling, La. It is currently known as Grambling State University.

1903: Albany State University is founded as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute. Utica Junior College opens in Utica, Miss; today, it is known as Hinds Community College at Utica.

1904: Mary McLeod Bethune works with the United Methodist Church to open the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls. Today, the school is known as Bethune-Cookman College.

1905: Miles Memorial College opens with funding from the CME Church in Fairfield, Ala. In 1941, the school was renamed Miles College.

1908: The Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention establishes Morris College in Sumter, SC.

1910: The National Religious Training School and Chautauqua is established in Durham, NC. Today the school is known as North Carolina Central University.

1912: Jarvis Christian College is established by a religious group known as The Disciples in Hawkins, Texas. Tennessee State University is founded as Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School.

1915: The Roman Catholic Church opens the St. Katharine Drexel and Sisters of the Blessed Sacraments as two institutions. In time, the schools will merge to become Xavier University of Louisiana.

1922: The Lutheran Church supports the opening of the Alabama Lutheran Academy and Junior College. In 1981, the school’s name is changed to Concordia College.

1924: The Baptist Church established the American Baptist College in Nashville, Tenn. Coahoma County Agricultural High School opens in Mississippi; it is currently known as Coahoma Community College.

1925: Alabama School of Trades opens in Gadsen. The institution is currently known as Gadsden State Community College.

1927: Bishop State Community College opens. Texas Southern University opens as Texas State University for Negros.

1935: Norfolk State University opens as the Norfolk Unit of Virginia State University.

1947: Demark Technical College opens as Denmark Area Trade School. Trenholm State Technical College is established in Montgomery, Ala. as John M. Patterson Technical School.

1948: The Church of Christ begins operating the Southern Bible Institute. Today the school is known as Southwestern Christian College.

1949: Lawson State Community College opens in Bessemer, Ala.

1950: Mississippi Valley State University opens in Itta Bena as the Mississippi Vocational College.

1952: J.P. Shelton Trade School opens in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Today, the school is known as Shelton State University.

1958: The Interdenominational Theological Center opens in Atlanta.

1959: Southern University at New Orleans is founded as a unit of Southern University in Baton Rouge.

1961: J.F. Drake State Technical College opens in Huntsville, Ala as the Huntsville State Vocational Technical School.

1962: The College of the Virgin Islands opens with campuses on St. Croix and St. Thomas. The school is currently known as the University of Virgin Islands.

1967: Southern University at Shreveport is founded in Louisiana.

1975: Morehouse School of Medicine opens in Atlanta. The medical school is originally part of Morehouse College. 

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Lewis, Femi. "HBCU Timeline: 1900 to 1975." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/hbcu-timeline-1900-to-1975-45453. Lewis, Femi. (2020, August 29). HBCU Timeline: 1900 to 1975. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hbcu-timeline-1900-to-1975-45453 Lewis, Femi. "HBCU Timeline: 1900 to 1975." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hbcu-timeline-1900-to-1975-45453 (accessed February 6, 2023).