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Black History: Special Delivery!!


February 2016

Background of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Black History: Special Delivery!!


Cheyney University
1905 Physics Class at Cheyney Unversity (Founded as Institute For Colored Youth, Cheyney was the first institution of higher learning for blacks in the U.S.)


 Before the U.S. Civil War, there was no higher education system established for African American students. In fact, many states had laws in place which prohibited the education of blacks. The first school to provide higher education for African American students was the Institute For Colored Youth founded in 1837 which would later become Cheney University. Lincoln University located in Pennsylvania (1854) and Wilberforce University located in Ohio (1856) soon open their doors as well.

These new schools were often called, “colleges”, “universities”, or “institutes”. However, their major focus in their early years was to provide elementary and high school level education for students of various ages that had not had any formal education. With the Emancipation Proclamation, and subsequent freedom of slaves; many African Americans could now pursue educational opportunities that they had been denied while enslaved. It would not be until the early 1900’s that HBCU’s would offer college level courses. Continue reading “Background of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)”

Lewis College of Business: A Detroit HBCU

Lewis College of Business, was the first African American owned and operated business school for blacks in Indianapolis, Detroit, and Cleveland. Its founder, Violet T. Lewis, was truly a trailblazer, launching the school during the Great Depression. Click the link to learn more about this unsung HBCU.


Source: Lewis College of Business: A Detroit HBCU

Lewis College of Business: A Detroit HBCU

Black History: Special Delivery!!

lewis college of business first class held in detroit
Lewis Business College – 1939 First Day of Class In Detroit

Lewis Business College was a trailblazer in providing business education to African American students.  The college was launched by its visionary founder, Violet T. Lewis.  Her dedication and perseverance paved the way for thousands of African Americans to access higher education.  Continue reading “Lewis College of Business: A Detroit HBCU”

The Finance Bar: Financial Literacy Hub On Wheels

Black History: Special Delivery!!

finance bar 3
Marsha Barnes

Marsha Barnes a 40 year old native of Charlotte, NC was determined to launch a financial coaching business. After years of working for a major financial services company, she was inspired to create a unique space to educate and equip others in developing greater financial literacy. Continue reading “The Finance Bar: Financial Literacy Hub On Wheels”

Jill Elaine Brown-Hiltz: 1st African American Female Pilot For A Major U.S. Airline

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Jill Elaine Brown-Hiltz


You may be familiar with Bessie Coleman, who made aviation history as the first African American female licensed pilot in the U.S. in 1922. After Bessie Coleman, there have been a number of black female pilots who have also been aviation trailblazers. One such trailblazer, is Jill Brown-Hiltz (1950 – ), who became the first African American female airline pilot to work for a major airline in 1978.  Continue reading “Jill Elaine Brown-Hiltz: 1st African American Female Pilot For A Major U.S. Airline”

Janet Emerson Bashen: Software Pioneer

Black History: Special Delivery!!


Janet Emerson Bashen received a technology patent in 2006. She is President, Founder, and CEO of Bashen Technologies.  Bashen saw a need to help employers with EEO tracking and reporting to more effectively respond to discrimination complaints filed by employees.  She knew that when discrimination claims were filed against companies, paperwork was often lost and took a long time to process.  She created a web based software platform to help employers track this info and streamline their reporting processes.
Continue reading “Janet Emerson Bashen: Software Pioneer”

Daniel A. Payne: 1st African American To Become A College President

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wilberforce university
Wilberforce University before the Civil War

Daniel A. Payne (1811-1893) was a religious leader, teacher, author, historian, and college president. Payne was a staunch advocate of education and training of ministers. Payne became the 6th bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1852. He would the position for more than 40 years. Payne was also a co-founder of Wilberforce University in 1856. In 1856, the AME Church purchased the college and selected Payne as its president. Payne was the first African American college president in the United States. He served in the role until 1877. Continue reading “Daniel A. Payne: 1st African American To Become A College President”

Dr. Solomon Fuller: 1st Black Psychiatrist In The U.S.

Black History: Special Delivery!!


solomon fuller
Dr. Solomon Fuller


Dr. Solomon Fuller (1889-1953) was the first black psychiatrist in the United States. Fuller conducted pioneering research on dementia and Alzheimers. Fuller also served as a professor at Boston University School of Medicine for 30+ years.
Continue reading “Dr. Solomon Fuller: 1st Black Psychiatrist In The U.S.”

Cleveland Home For Aged Colored People

Black History: Special Delivery!!

 eliza bryant


Born in 1827, Eliza Bryant was a black abolitionist and businesswoman. She grew up on a plantation in Wayne County North Carolina. Her mother Polly Simmons was enslaved, and her father was the plantation master. She moved north with her mother in 1848 when her mother was freed. They purchased a home in Cleveland, OH with money given to the family from their former master. Bryant was very active in the Cleveland community in supporting blacks who had newly relocated from the south after emancipation as part of the great migration.

In serving the community, she saw first-hand the needs of elderly blacks who were left alone due to slavery. At that time, there were no nursing homes that accepted blacks. In 1893 Bryant and two other women, Sarah Green and Lethia Flemming started making plans to establish a convalescent home for elderly blacks.
Continue reading “Cleveland Home For Aged Colored People”

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