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Posts Tagged ‘Shaw University’

SNCC

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina’s black history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit from our state’s African American’s past.

On Easter weekend 1960, about 150 student leaders from ten states met at Shaw University in Raleigh for a conference on nonviolent resistance to segregation in the South. The meeting took place just two months after the Woolworth sit-ins in Greensboro had launched a nationwide protest effort.

At the urging of its interim executive director, Ella Baker, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) hosted the conference to unite student activists who had been newly energized by the sit-in movement. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) grew out of those efforts. Though initiated by the SCLC, SNCC remained student-directed and student-driven at Baker’s insistence.

Following a 1961 U.S. Supreme Court decision ending segregation in the transportation industry, SNCC members confronted violent opposition from locals while working as Freedom Riders on buses that carried integrated groups through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. SNCC activists also played a key role in the 1963 March on Washington and constituted the “shock troops” and frontline leaders during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964.

Duke scholar John Hope Franklin called them “probably the most courageous and the most selfless” workers of the civil rights movement. 

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Faculty at the Leonard Medical School, ca. 1902. Image from the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill

Faculty at the Leonard Medical School, ca. 1902. Image from the North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina’s black history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit from our state’s African American’s past.

Often referred to as the oldest historically black institution of higher learning in the South, Shaw University was founded by Henry M. Tupper, a white minister and Union Army veteran from Massachusetts in 1865.

Etsy Hall at Shaw University ca. 1873. Image from the State Archives

Etsy Hall at Shaw University ca. 1873. Image from the State Archives

Begun as a theological class which met just north of the Capitol grounds, the school became the Shaw Collegiate Institute in 1870 after the receipt of a major gift. In 1875 the General Assembly granted a formal charter to the university.

From 1882 to 1918 Shaw operated Leonard Medical School, which, during that period, educated more than 400 African American physicians. Four other medical schools for African-Americans predated it, but Leonard was the first such school in the United States to offer a four-year graded curriculum of the sort used today. The four-year course of study was made the standard in 1893, eleven years after Leonard had instituted it.

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