Separate Is Not Equal - Brown v. Board of Education

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Behring Center

Segregated America
The Battleground
Legal Campaign
  • Howard University
  • Charles Hamilton Houston
  • Preparing for Struggle
  • The NAACP
  • NAACP’s Legal Team
  • “Mr. Civil Rights”
  • Targeting Higher Education
  • Power of Precedent
  • Turning Point
Five Communities Change a Nation
The Decision
Howard University campus

Howard University: Leadership through Scholarship

Howard University is one of the oldest historically black universities in the United States. It was established by act of Congress in 1867 and named for Oliver Otis Howard, a Union general in the Civil War and a director of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

Howard provided education in social sciences, physical sciences, fine arts, law, and medicine at a time when most African American programs were devoted to vocational education. Many Howard graduates became national and international leaders.
Howard Univeristy Faculty

Howard Univeristy Faculty

Howard University’s faculty included some of the intellectual leaders of the nation. Ironically, they came together at Howard and mounted an effective challenge to segregation partly because they were excluded from teaching positions at white universities.

This photograph from 1950 shows, left to right, professors James M. Nabrit, Jr. (law), Charles Drew (medicine), Sterling Brown (English), E. Franklin Frazier (sociology), Rayford W. Logan (history), and Alain LeRoy Locke (philosophy).
(Courtesy of Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Archives)

Howard University library, about 1890

Howard University library, about 1890

(Courtesy of Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Archives)
HU Logo Banner

HU Logo Banner

As a symbol of black aspirations, Howard University had a special purpose. From Howard’s founding, its graduates and faculty have responded to racism in society with service to the African American community.
(Lent by Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Archives)

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