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Vivid Hues: Stories of Black History, HBCU

Jacksonville is home to Florida’s first HBCU, Edward Waters University.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Historically Black Colleges and Universities were created as a direct response to racial discrimination. Educating Black Americans was prohibited in most southern states prior to the Civil War and often discouraged in northern states. At the center of the American story sits HBCUs, providing Black Americans with access to higher education.

The nation's first and oldest is Cheyney University, established in 1837 followed by the University of the District of Columbia in 1851, Lincoln University in 1854 and Wilberforce two years after.

Educating the children of those formerly enslaved training them to teach others in unapologetic Black space on rich soil where students feel freedom to become more than the status quo.

Philanthropists, free Blacks, and religious organizations started most of the nation's HBCUs. Now more than 100 of them across the United States continue to educate generations of leaders.

Norma White, the first female band member of the famed Florida A & M University Marching 100 and the 25th president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated lends her voice to narrate Vivid Hues; Stories of Black History’s look back at the founding of HBCUs. The illustration was created by Douglas Anderson School of the Arts' student, Ada Madison. 

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